Similarity Of The Arts And Customs Of The Mound Builders To Those Of Indians.
The historical evidence is, as we have seen, conclusive that some of the tribes of Indians were mound builders.
The explorations by the Bureau of Ethnology in the South and West have also brought to light so many corroborative facts that the question may be considered settled. These will shortly be given to the public; only a few can be noticed here, and that in a very brief and general way.
As the country was inhabited only by Indians at the time of its discovery, and as we have no evidence, unless derived from the mounds, of its having ever been occupied by any other people, every fact indicating a similarity between the arts, customs, and social life of the mound-builders and those of the red Indians, is an evidence of the identity of the two peoples. The greater the number of these resemblances, the greater the probability of the correctness of the theory, so long as we find nothing irreconcilable with it.
Architecture. -- One of the first circumstances which strike the mind of the archaeologist who carefully studies these works as being very significant, is the entire absence of any evidence in them of architectural knowledge and skill approaching that exhibited by the ruins of Mexico and Central America, or even equaling that exhibited by the Pueblo Indians.
It is true that truncated pyramidal mounds of large size and somewhat regular proportions are found in certain sections, and that some of these have ramps or roadways leading up to them. Yet when compared with the pyramids or teocalli of Mexico and Yucatan the differences in the manifestations of architectural skill are so great, and the resemblances are so faint and few, as to furnish no grounds whatever for attributing the two classes of works to the same people. The facts that the works of the one people consist chiefly of wrought and sculptured stone, and that such materials are wholly unknown to the other, forbid the idea of any relationship between the two. The difference between the two classes of monuments indicates a wide divergence -- a complete step -- in the culture status.
Mexico, Central America, and Peru are dotted with the ruins of stone edifices, but in all the mound-building area of the United States not the slightest vestige of one attributable to the people who erected the earthen structures is to be found. The utmost they attained in this direction was the construction of stone cairus, rude stone -- walls, and vaults of cobble-stones and undressed blocks. This fact is too significant to be overlooked in this comparison, and should have its weight in forming a conclusion, especially when it is backed by numerous other important differences.
Though hundreds of groups of mounds marking the sites of ancient villages are to be seen scattered over the Mississippi Valley and Gulf States yet nowhere can there be found an ancient house. The inference is therefore irresistible that the houses of the mound- builders were constructed of perishable materials; consequently that the builders were not sufficiently advanced in art to use stone or brick in building, or else that they lived a roving, restless life that would not justify the time and trouble necessary to erect such permanent structures. As the last inference is irreconcilable with the magnitude and extent of many groups of these remains we are forced to the conclusion that the first is true.
One chief objection to the Indian origin of these works is, as already stated, that their builders must have been sedentary, depending largely upon agriculture for subsistence. It is evident, therefore, that they had dwellings of some sort, and as remains of neither stone nor brick structures are found which could have been used for this purpose, we must assume that their dwellings were constructed of perishable material, such as was supplied in abundance by the forest region in which they dwelt. It is therefore apparent that in this respect at least the dwellings of mound-builders were similar to those of Indians. But this is not all that can be said in reference to the houses of the former, for there still remain indications of their shape and character, although no complete examples are left for inspection. In various places, especially in Tennessee, Illinois, and southeast Missouri, the sites of thousands of them are yet distinctly marked by little circular depressions with rings of earth around them. These remains give the form and size of one class of dwellings that was common in the regions named. Excavations in the center usually bring to light the ashes and hearth that mark the place where the fire was built, and occasionally unearth fragments of the vessels used in cooking, the bones of animals on whose flesh the inmates fed, and other articles pertaining to domestic use.
During the explorations of the Bureau in southeastern Missouri and Arkansas, finding the remains of houses in low, flat mounds was a common occurrence. Although the wood in most cases had disappeared, what had not been converted to coals and ashes having rotted away, yet the size and form, and, in part, the mode of construction, were clearly indicated. The hard-tramped, circular, earthen floor gave the size and form; the numerous fragments of burnt clay forming a layer over the floor -- often taken by explorers for brick-revealed the method of plastering their dwellings; the charred remains of grass and twigs showed that it had been strengthened by this admixture; the impressions left on the inner face of these lumps of burnt plastering revealed the character of the lathing, which was in some cases branches and twigs, but in others split cane. The roof was thatched with grass or matting, the charred remains of which were found in more than one instance. In probably nine cases out of ten it was apparent these dwellings had been burned. This was found to be due to the custom of burying the dead in the floor and burning the dwelling over them, covering the remains with dirt often before the fire had ceased burning.
As a general rule the strata are found in this order: (1) a top layer of soil from 1 foot to 2 feet thick; (2) a layer of burnt clay from 3 to 12 inches thick (though usually varying from 4 to 8 inches) and broken into lumps, never in a uniform, unbroken layer; immediately below this (3) a thin layer of hardened muck or dark clay, though this does not always seem to be distinct. At this depth in the mounds of the eastern part of Arkansas are usually found one or more skeletons.
Take, for example, the following statement by Dr. Edward Palmer in regard to these beds:
As a general and almost universal rule, after removing a foot or two of top soil, a layer of burnt clay in a broken or fragmentary condition would be found, sometimes with impressions of grass or twigs, and easily crumbled, but often hard, and stamped, apparently, with an implement made of split reeds of comparatively large size. This layer was often a foot thick, and frequently burned to a brick-red or even to clinkers. Below this would be found more or less ashes, and often 6 inches of charred grass immediately over the skeletons. These skeletons were found lying in all directions, some with the face up, others with it down, and others on the side. With each of these were one or more vessels of clay.
Remains of rectangular houses were also discovered, though much less frequent than other forms. These consisted of three rooms, two in front and one in rear. For example, Dr. Palmer found in a broad platform like elevation not more than 3 feet high the remains of a house of this form which he traced by the burnt clay. The lines of the upright walls were very apparent, as also the clay which must have fallen from them, and which raised the outer marginal lines considerably higher than the inner area. Dr. Palmer remarks:
The fire must have been very fierce, and the clay around the edges was evidently at some height above the door, as I judge from the irregular way in which it is scattered around the margins.
Excavations in the areas showed that they were covered with a layer of burnt clay, uneven and broken; immediately below this a layer of ashes 6 inches thick, and below this black loam. On these areas large trees were growing, one a poplar 3 feet in diameter. Below one of these floors were found a skeleton, some pottery, and a pipe. A large oak formerly stood at this point, but it has been blown down.
Subsequently the remains of another dwelling of precisely the same form, that is, two square rooms joined and a third of the same size immediately behind these two, were discovered in the same region by Colonel Norris. In this case remnants of the upright posts and reed lathing forming the walls were found, also the clay plastering.
Prof. G. C. Swallow [Footnote: 8th Rept. Peabody Museum, 1875, pp. 17, 18.] describes a room formed of poles, lathed with split cane, plastered with clay both inside and out, which he found in a mound in southeastern Missouri. Colonel Norris found parts of the decayed poles, plastering, and other remains of a similar house in a large mound in the same section.
From the statements of the early writers, a few of which are given here, it is evident that the houses of the Indians occupying this region when first visited by the whites were very similar to those of the mound-builders.
La Harpe, speaking of the tribes in some parts of Arkansas, says: "The Indians build their huts dome-fashion out of clay and reeds." Schoolcraft says the Pawnees formerly built similar houses. In Iberville's Journal [Footnote: Relation in Margry, Deconvertes, 4th part (March, 1699), p. 170] it is stated that the cabins of the Bayogoulas were round, about 30 feet in diameter, and plastered with clay to the height of a man. Adair says: "They are lathed with cane and plastered with mud from bottom to top within and without with a good covering of straw."
Henri de Tonty, the real hero of the French discoveries on the Mississippi, says the cabins of the Tensas were square, with the roof dome-shaped, and that the walls were plastered with clay to the height of 12 feet and were 2 feet thick. [Footnote: Relation of Henry de Tonty in Margry, Decouvertes, vol. 1, 1876, p. 600]
A description of the Indian square houses of this southern section by Du Pratz [Footnote: Hist. La., vol. 2, French ed., 1758, pp. 173-175; English ed., 1764, p. 359.] is so exactly in point that I insert a translation of the whole, passage:
The cabins of the natives are all perfectly square; none of them are less than 15 feet in extent in every direction, but there are some which are more than 30. The following is their manner of building them: The natives go into the new forest to seek the trunks of young walnut trees of 4 inches in diameter and from 18 to 20 feet long; they plant the largest ones at the four corners to form the breadth and the dome; but before fixing the others they prepare the scaffolding; it consists of four poles fastened together at the top, the lower ends corresponding to the four corners; on these four poles others are fastened crosswise at a distance of a foot apart; this makes a ladder with four sides, or four ladders joined together.
This done, they fix the other poles in the ground in a straight line between those of the corners; when they are thus planted they are strongly bound to a pole which crosses them within each side [of the house]. For this purpose large splints of stalks are used to tie them at the height of 5 or 6 feet, according to the size of the cabin, which forms the walls; these standing poles are not more than 15 inches apart from each other; a young man then mounts to the end of one of the corner poles with a cord in his teeth; he fastens the cord to the pole, and as he mounts within, the pole bends, because those who are below draw the cord to bend the pole as much as is necessary; at the same time another young man fixes the pole of the opposite corner in the same way; the two poles being thus bent at a suitable height, they are fastened strongly and evenly. The same is done with the poles of the two other corners as they are crossed over the first ones. Finally all the other poles are joined at the point, which makes altogether the figure of a bower in a summer-house such as we have in France. After this work they fasten sticks on the lower sides or walls at a distance of about 8 inches across, as high as the pole of which I have spoken, which forms the length of the wall.
These sticks being thus fastened, they make mud walls of clay, in which they put a sufficient amount of Spanish moss; these walls are not more than 4 inches thick; they leave no opening but the door, which is only 2 feet in width by 4 in height; there are some much smaller. They then cover the frame-work which I have just described with mats of reeds, putting the smoothest on the inside of the cabin, taking care to fasten them together so that they are well joined.
After this they make large bundles of grass, of the tallest that can be found in the low lands, and which is 4 or 5 feet long; this is put on in the same way as straw which is used to cover thatched houses; the grass is fastened with large canes, and splints, also of canes. When the cabin is covered with grass they cover all with a matting of canes well bound together, and at the bottom they make a ring of "bind-weeds" all around the cabin, then they trim the grass evenly, and with this defense, however strong the wind may be, it can do nothing against the cabin. These coverings last twenty years without being repaired.
Numerous other references to the same effect might be given, but these are sufficient to show that the remains found in the mounds of the South are precisely what would result from the destruction by fire of the houses in use by the Indians when first encountered by Europeans.
It is admitted now by all archaeologists that the ancient works of New York are attributable to Indians, chiefly to the Iroquois tribes. This necessarily carries with it the inference that works of the same type, for instance those of northern Ohio and eastern Michigan, are due to Indians. It is also admitted that the mounds and burial pits of Canada are due, at least in part, to the Hurons. [Footnote: David Boyle, Ann. Rept. Canadian Institute, 1886-1887, pp. 9-17; Ibid., 1888, p. 57.]
Tribal divisions. -- As the proofs that the mound-builders pertained to various tribes often at war with each other are now too numerous and strong to be longer denied, we may see in them evidences of a social condition similar to that of the Indians.
Similarity in burial customs. -- There are perhaps no other remains of a barbarous or unenlightened people which give us so clear a conception of their superstitions and religious beliefs as do those which relate to the disposal of their dead. By the modes adopted for such disposal, and the relics found in the receptacles of the dead, we are enabled not only to understand something of these superstitions and beliefs, but also to judge of their culture status and to gain some knowledge of their arts, customs, and modes of life.
The mortuary customs of the mound-builders, as gleaned from an examination of their burial mounds, ancient cemeteries, and other depositories of their dead, present so many striking resemblances to those of the Indians when first encountered by the whites, as to leave little room for doubt regarding their identity. [Footnote: Evidence bearing on this point will be found in the paper on The Burial Mounds of the Northern Sections, by C. Thomas, in the Fifth Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology.] Nor is this similarity limited to the customs in the broad and general sense, but it is carried down to the more minute and striking peculiarities.
Among the general features in which resemblances are noted are the following:
The mound-builders were accustomed to dispose of their dead in many different ways; their modes of sepulture were also quite varied. The same statements will apply with equal force to the Indians.
"The commonest mode of burial among North American Indians," we are informed by Dr. H. C. Yarrow, [Footnote: First Annual Report Bureau of Ethnology, Smithsonian Institution, 1879-'80 (1881), p. 93.] "has been that of interment in the ground, and this has taken place in a number of ways." The different ways he mentions are, in pits, graves, or holes in the ground; in stone graves or cists; in mounds; beneath or in cabins, wigwams, houses or lodges, and in caves.
The most common method of burial among the mound-builders was by inhumation also, and all the different ways mentioned by Dr. Yarrow as practiced by the Indians were in vogue among the former. It was supposed for a long time that their chief and almost only place of depositing their dead was in the burial mounds, but more thorough explorations have revealed the fact that near most mound villages are cemeteries, often of considerable extent.
The chief value of this fact in this connection is that it forms one item of evidence against the theory held by some antiquarians that the mound-builders were Mexicans, as the usual mode of disposing of the dead by the latter was cremation. [Footnote: Clavigero, Hist. Mex., Cullen's transl., I, 325; Torquemada, Monarq. Ind., I, p.60, etc.] According to Brasseur de Bourbourg the Toltecs also practiced cremation. [Footnote: H.H. Bancroft, Native Races, vol. 2, 1882, p. 609.]
REMOVAL OF THE FLESH BEFORE BURIAL. -- This practice appears to have been followed quite generally by both Indians and mound-builders.
That it was followed to a considerable extent by the mound builders of various sections is shown by the following evidence:
The confused masses of human bones frequently found in mounds show by their relation to each other that they must have been gathered together after the flesh had been removed, as this condition could not possibly have been assumed after burial in their natural state. Instances of this kind are so numerous and well known that it is scarcely necessary to present any evidence in support of the statement. The well-known instance referred to by Jefferson in his "Notes on Virginia" [Footnote: Fourth Am. ed., 1801, p. 143; p. 146, in 8th ed.] is one in point. "The appearance," he tells us, "certainly indicates that it [the barrow] has derived both origin and growth from the customary collections of bones and deposition of them together."
Notices of similar deposits have been observed as follows: In Wisconsin, by Mr. Armstrong; [Footnote: Smithsonian Rept., 1879, p. 337] in Florida, by James Bell [Footnote: Smithsonian Rept., 1881, p. 636.] and Mr. Walker; [Footnote: Smithsonian Rept., 1879, p. 398] in Cass County, Ill., by Mr. Snyder; [Footnote: Smithsonian Rept., 1881, p. 573.] in Georgia, by C. C. Jones. [Footnote: Antiq. So. Inds., p. 193.] Similar deposits have also been found by the assistants of the Bureau of Ethnology in Wisconsin, Illinois, northern Missouri, North Carolina, New York, and Arkansas.
Another proof of this custom was observed by Mr. J. D. Middleton and Colonel Morris in Wisconsin, northeastern Missouri, and Illinois. In numerous mounds the skeletons were found packed closely side by side, immediately beneath a layer of hard, mortar- like substance. The fact that this mortar had completely filled the interstices, and in many cases the skulls also, showed that it had been placed over them while in a plastic state, and as it must soon have hardened and assumed the condition in which it was found, it is evident the skeletons had been buried after the flesh was removed.
As additional evidence we may mention the fact that in stone graves, so small that the body of a full-grown individual could not by any possible means be pressed into them, the bones of adult individuals are sometimes found. Instances of this kind have occurred in Tennessee, Missouri, and southern Illinois.
From personal examination I conclude that most of the folded skeletons found in mounds were buried after the flesh had been removed, as the folding, to the extent noticed, could not possibly have been done with the flesh on them, and the positions in most cases were such that they could not have been assumed in consequence of the decay of the flesh and settling of the mound.
The partial calcining of the bones in vaults and under layers of clay where the evidence shows that the fire was applied to the outside of the vault or above the clay layer, can be accounted for only on the supposition that the flesh had been removed before burial.
Other proofs that this custom prevailed among the mound builders in various sections of the country might be adduced.
That it was the custom of a number of Indian tribes, when first encountered by the whites, and even down to a comparatively modern date, to remove the flesh before final burial by suspending on scaffolds, depositing in charnel-houses, by temporary burial, or otherwise, is well known to all students of Indian habits and customs.
Heckewelder says, "The Nanticokes had the singular custom of removing the bones from the old burial place to a place of deposit in the country they now dwell in." [Footnote: Hist. Manners and Customs Ind. Nations, p. 75.]
The account by Breboeuf of the communal burial among the Hurons heretofore referred to is well known. [Footnote: Jesuit Relations for 1636. Transl. in Fifth Ann. Rept. Bur. Ethnol., p. 110.] The same custom is alluded to by Lafitau. [Footnote: Moeurs des Sauvages, vol. 2, pp. 420-435.] Bartram observed it among the Choctaws. [Footnote: Travels, p. 516.] It is also mentioned by Bossu, [Footnote: Travels through Louisiana, p. 298.] by Adair,[Footnote: Hist. Am. Indians, p. 183.] by Barnard Romans,[Footnote: Nat. Hist. Florida, p. 90.] and others.
Burial beneath or in dwellings. -- The evidence brought to light by the investigations of the Bureau of Ethnology, regarding a custom among the mound-builders of Arkansas and Mississippi, of burying in or under their dwellings, has been given, in part, in an article published in the Magazine of American History. [Footnote: February, 1884.] It is a well-attested historical fact that such was also the custom of the southern Indian tribes. Bartram affirms it to have been in vogue among the Muscogulgees or Creeks,[Footnote: Travels, p. 505.] and Barnard Romans says it was also practiced by the Chickasaws.[Footnote: Nat. Hist. Florida, p. 71] C C. Jones says that the Indians of Georgia "often interred beneath the floor of the cabin, and then burnt the hut of the deceased over his head;"[Footnote: Antiq. So. Indians, p. 203.] which furnishes a complete explanation of the fact observed by the Bureau explorers, mentioned in the article before alluded to.
Burial in a sitting or squatting posture. -- It was a very common practice among the mound-builders to bury their dead in a sitting or squatting posture. The examples of this kind are too numerous and too well known to require repetition. I may add that the yet unpublished reports of the Bureau show that this custom prevailed to a certain extent in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio, and West Virginia. Instances have also been observed elsewhere. [Footnote: Jones's Antiq. So. Indians (Georgia and Florida). pp. 183-185.] That the same custom was followed by several of the Indian tribes is attested by the following authorities: Bossu, [Footnote: Travels, vol. 1, p. 251.] Lawson, [Footnote: Hist. Carolina, p. 182.] Bartram, [Footnote: Travels, p. 515.] and Adair.[Footnote: Hist. Am. Indians, p. 182.]
The use of fire in burial ceremonies. -- Another observance in which the burial customs of mound-builders corresponded with those of Indians was the use of fire in funeral ceremonies. The evidences of this custom are so common in mounds as to lead to the supposition that the mound-builders were in the habit of offering human sacrifices to their deities. Although charred and even almost wholly consumed human bones are often found, showing that bodies or skeletons were sometimes burned, it does not necessarily follow that they were offered as sacrifices. Moreover, judging from all the data in our possession, the weight of evidence seems to be decidedly against such conclusion.
Among the Indians fire appears to have been connected with the mortuary ceremonies in several ways. One use of it was to burn the flesh and softer portions of the body when removed from the bones. [Footnote: Barnard Romans, Nat. Hist. Florida, p. 90.] Breboeuf also mentions its use in connection with the communal burial of the Hurons. [Footnote: Jesuit Relations for 1636, p. 135.] According to M. B. Kent [Footnote: Yarrow's Mort. Customs N. A. Indians, 1st Ann. Rept. Bur. Ethnology (1881), P. 95.] it was the ancient custom of the Sacs and Foxes to burn a portion of the food of the burial feast to furnish subsistence for the spirit on its journey.
Pickett says [Footnote: Hist. Alabama, 3d ed., vol. 1, p. 140.] the Choctaws were in the habit of killing and cutting up their prisoners of war, after which the parts were burned. He adds further, in reference to their burial ceremonies: [Footnote: Ibid., p. 142] "From all we have heard and read of the Choctaws, we are satisfied that it was their custom to take from the bone- house the skeletons, with which they repaired in funeral procession to the suburbs of the town, where they placed them on the ground in one heap, together with the property of the dead, such as pots, bows, arrows, ornaments, curiously-shaped stones for dressing deer skins, and a variety of other things. Over this heap they first threw charcoal and ashes, probably to preserve the bones, and the next operation was to cover all with earth. This left a mound several feet high." This furnishes a complete explanation of the fact that uncharred human bones are frequently found in Southern mounds imbedded in charcoal and ashes.
Similarity of their stone implements and ornaments. -- In addition to the special points of resemblance between the works of the two peoples, of which a few only have been mentioned, we are warranted in asserting that in all respects, so far as we can trace them correctly, there are to be found strong resemblances between the habits, customs, and arts of the mound-builders and those of the Indians previous to their change by contact with Europeans. Both made use of stone implements, and so precisely similar are the articles of this class that it is impossible to distinguish those made by the one people from those made by the other. So true is this that our best and most experienced archaeologists make no attempt to separate them, except where the conditions under which they are found furnish evidence for discrimination. Instead of burdening these pages with proofs of these statements by reference to particular finds and authorities, I call attention to the work of Dr. C. C. Abbott on the handiwork in stone, bone, and clay of the native races of the northern Atlantic sea board of America, entitled "Primitive Industry." As the area embraced in this work, as remarked by its author, "does not include any territory known to have been permanently occupied by the so-called mound- builders," the articles found here must be ascribed to the Indians unless, as suggested by Dr. Abbott, some of a more primitive type found in the Trenton gravel are to be attributed to an earlier and still ruder people. Examining those of the first class, which are ascribed to the Indians, we observe almost every type of stone articles found in the mounds and mound area; not only the rudely chipped scrapers, hoes, celts, knives, and spear and arrow heads, but also the polished or ground celts, axes, hammers, and chisels, or gouges.
Here we also find drills, awls, and perforators, slick stones and dressers, pipes of various forms and finish, discoidal stones and net sinkers, butterflys tones and other supposed ceremonial objects, masks or face figures and bird-shaped stones, gorgets, totems, pendants, trinkets, etc. Nor does the resemblance stop with types, but it is carried down to specific forms and finish, leaving absolutely no possible line of demarkation between these and the similar articles attributed to the mound-builders. So persistently true is this that had we stone articles alone to judge by, it is probable we should be forced to the conclusion, as held by some writers, that the former inhabitants of that portion of the United States east of the Rocky Mountains pertained to one nation, unless possibly the prevalence of certain types in particular sections should afford some data for tribal districting.
This strong similarity of the stone articles of the Atlantic coast to those of the mound area was noticed as early as 1820 by Caleb Atwater, who, knowing that the former were Indian manufactures, attributed the latter also to the same people although he held that the mounds were the work of the ancestors of the civilized nations of Mexico and Central America.
Mound and Indian Pottery. -- The pottery of the mound-builders has often been referred to as proof of a higher culture status, and of an advance in art beyond that reached by the Indians. The vase with a bird figure found by Squier and Davis in an Ohio mound is presented in most works on American archaeology as an evidence of the advanced stage of the ceramic art among the mound-builders; but Dr. Rau, who examined the collection of these authors, says:
Having seen the best specimens of "mound" pottery obtained during the survey of Messrs. Squier and Davis, I do not hesitate to assert that the clay vessels fabricated at the Cahokia Creek were in every respect equal to those exhumed from the mounds of the Mississippi Valley, and Dr. Davis himself, who examined my specimens from the first-named locality, expressed the same opinion. [Footnote: Smithsonian Rept., 1866, p. 349.]
The Cahokia pottery which he found along the creek of that name (Madison County, Ill.) he ascribes to Indians, and believes it to be of comparatively recent origin.
Most of the mound pottery is mixed with pulverized shells, which is also true of most Indian pottery. [Footnote: Dumont, Mem. Hist. La., vol. 2, 1753, p. 271; Adair, Hist. Am. Indians, p. 424; Loskiel, Gesell. der Miss., p. 70, etc.] Du Pratz says that "the Natchez Indians make pots of an extraordinary size, cruses with a medium-sized opening, jars, bottles with long necks holding two pints, and pots or cruses for holding bear's oil;" [Footnote: Hist. La., p. 79.] also that they colored them a beautiful red by using ocher, which becomes red after burning.
As is well known, the bottle-shaped vase with a long neck is the typical form of clay vessels found in the mounds of Arkansas and southeastern Missouri, and is also common in the mounds and stone graves of middle Tennessee. Those colored or ornamented with red are often found in the mounds of the former sections. It is worthy of notice in this connection that the two localities -- near Saint Genevieve, Mo., and near Shawneetown, Ill. -- where so many fragments of large clay vessels used in making salt have been found, were occupied for a considerable time by the Shawnee Indians. As will hereafter be shown, there are reasons for believing this pottery was made by the Shawnees.
The statement so often made that the mound pottery, especially that of Ohio, far excels that of the Indians is not justified by the facts.
Much more evidence of like tenor might be presented here, as, for example, the numerous instances in which articles of European manufacture have been found in mounds where their presence could not be attributed to intrusive burials, but the limits of the paper will not admit of this. I turn, therefore, to the problem before us, viz, "Who were the authors of the typical works of Ohio?"
As before stated, the answer is, "These works are attributable in part at least to the ancestors of the modern Cherokees."
As a connecting link between what has been given and the direct evidence that the Cherokees were mound-builders, and as having an important bearing upon both questions, the evidence derived from the box-shaped stone graves is introduced at this point.
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