Giants Underground: Evidence for a Race of Giants in Pennsylvania

Giants Underground: Evidence for a Race of Giants in Pennsylvania
Giants Underground: Evidence for a Race of Giants in Pennsylvania

During the early forest era (1000-200 BC), the Aden people built huge burial mounds and earthworks throughout the Ohio Valley, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Many skeletal remains found in these mounds by early antiquaries and archaeologists of the 20th century belonged to people of powerful physique, reaching from 1 meter 98 cm - 2 meters 44 cm. It was thanks to these remains that the theme of the ancient "giants" of the Ohio Valley arose.

Destruction of evidence

While doing research for their book on this topic over the past few years, the authors have been amazed at how little archaeological data about certain regions is freely available and available to the public.

One such region is Pennsylvania, where in the late 1800s and early 1900s the Carnegie Museum destroyed countless mounds without detailed reports.

Many of the mounds destroyed by the Carnegie Museum are known to the public only from old press reports, such as the following, published in The Sun on December 8, 1893:

"This mound, which was originally about 100 feet long and over 12 feet high, has been badly destroyed by time. It is located on JR Secrist's farm in South Huntington … The most interesting feature of recent excavations has been the mummified torso of a human body … Part The bones and leg bones that have been dug up, according to Professor Peterson, belong to a man eight to nine feet tall."

Large skeletal remains

To provide some clarity on the topic of the Pennsylvania mound builders and large skeletal remains, the authors analyzed a significant amount of archaeological literature on the state and included this information in several chapters of the book Ages of the Giants: A Cultural History of the Tall Ones in Prehistoric America (Serpent Mound Books and Press, 2017) Perhaps the most famous case of press reports describing a large skeleton from a Pennsylvania mound is from Union Township in Washington County, Pennsylvania.

In 1932, archaeologist George Fisher excavated the burial mound after he was informed that amateurs were engaged in heavy looting at the site. This situation attracted hundreds of viewers, and Fischer's work became the subject of daily discussion in the local media. One find in particular was regularly reported at this time:

"One of the most interesting messages to go into the archives concerns the body of a seven-foot-five" (2.1 m) giant. This titanium was found on the fifth level of an earthen barrow, where the bodies were sandwiched between 11 layers of sandstone. Most adults were between five feet ten inches to six feet three inches (1.8 m) …"

-The Daily Republican, 15.9.1932

“One of the skeletons of these mighty men reaches seven feet five inches in length (2.1 meters), and even the remains of women and children show that they were enormous. skulls have heavy bones, massive jaws and strong teeth that could tear meat to shreds … ".

-The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/14/1932

Human image tube created by the prehistoric Aden culture that lived in the Ohio Valley between 800 BC. and 100 A.D.

The Mystery of the Mounds

Over the past decade, similar press reports have led several researchers to seek additional information about the mound excavated by Fischer, but until now it has remained largely a mystery.The authors found that the site is known in the archaeological literature as the Pollox Hill stone mound. There is some controversy about the age and cultural identity of the mound. Archaeologist and Adena specialist Don V. Drago believed that Pollox Hill Cairn belonged to the Adena stone mound tradition. In modern times, archaeologists have overestimated some of the mounds that Drago included in this cultural class, and suggested that they may in fact be from the late Woodland period - several hundred years after the Adena era.

One of the reasons why it is difficult to find professionally documented information about Pollox Hill is that Fisher himself did not publish an official report. Instead, Donald Cadzow published a report in 1933 using information drawn directly from Fischer's field notes. According to the Katzow document, Fischer excavated an elongated adult skeleton, covered with a layer of mud and stones, in the northwestern part of the mound, which is designated as burial 39 in the field notes. It was possible to obtain accurate measurements. However, their size indicates a very large, dense build of the person, much larger than other burials in the mound."

The size of the bones indicated a very large, heavy person.

After excavation, the bones of more than 40 skeletons from Pollox Hill were transported to a museum in Harisburg and then to the Smithsonian Institution in Washington. On October 12, 1932, The Pittsburg Press reported that Donald Cadzow himself was in charge of transporting the skeletons from Finleyville to the museum, noting: "One of the skeletons that traveled with Cadzow to the capital is a 7 foot 5" (2.1 m) giant. " … The information in the article comes from an interview with Cazow, who took the opportunity to condemn the Carnegie Museum's relationship to Pennsylvania's prehistoric history.

Artifacts from the Pollox Hill burial ground include two rolled copper tubular beads, bone pins, bar and head points, Celts, one stone mortar, and perforated bear fangs.

All Aden cultural objects always have two holes. The items are kept at the Grave Creek Barrow Museum. Moundsville, Virginia.

Field notes from an important site

Large skeletal remains have also been recovered from the McKeys Rocks Mound, which once dominated the confluence of the Ohio River and Cartier Creek at Stowe Township in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania. Frank Gerodette excavated the McKeese Rocks mound on behalf of the Carnegie Museum in 1896. Unfortunately, several controversies led to Gerodette resigning from the Carnegie Museum and retiring permanently from archeology before the full excavation report was drawn up. In The Age of Giants, researchers used Gerodette's field notes, as well as research from five different archaeologists who examined field notes, artifacts, and bones from the mound, to recreate discoveries at this important site.

The height of the McKeese Rocks mound at the time of excavation was 16-17 feet (4, 8-5, 1 meters), and a diameter of 85 feet (26 meters). More than 30 burials of human remains were discovered in the mound, cremated and lined with bones, many of which were found in stone tombs. The mound was erected in three stages of construction, each of which took an unknown time. These phases span from Adena to the end of the Middle Woodland period. The oldest, or primary, phase of the mound was a 3.5 feet (one meter) high river sand and clay mound containing a 6 feet 2 inches (1 m 88 cm) long Adena woman's skeleton.

Artifacts from this burial include adze, four awls made from a deer or elk shoulder blade, a copper scabbard to simulate a bear tusk, 357 beads from colonnella shells, 153 beads from marginella shells, tools for carving a deer antler and bone, and one slate-shaped stone in the form of a coil …

Mound of Adena in section

Burial 20 is a woman in a sandstone burial mound. Frank Gerodette's field notes relating to this burial state that "the height of a person could not be less than 6 feet 6 inches" (1 meter 98 cm). The skull of this burial was crushed to the sternum, and the bones of the feet were missing.According to historian George Thornton Fleming (who carefully documented the excavation), if the feet and neck were preserved, the remains "would be seven feet high (2.1 m)." There were several other skeletons from MacKeese Rocks, ranging in length from 6'2 "to 6'4" (1.8 m).

Squokey Hill, an unusual burial mound

In northwestern Pennsylvania, many of the mounds have been attributed to the Hopewell-influenced tradition, which some archaeologists refer to as the Squoke Hill culture. Squokey Hill mounds are also found in northeastern Ohio, in the Upper Ohio Valley in West Virginia, and in New York State. These mounds date back to the Middle Woodland period, usually between 100 and 500 AD. The Squoke Hill settlements in Pennsylvania include the Sugar Run, Coridon, Irvine, and Cornplanter mound groups.

In 1941, Edmund Carpenter explored two surviving mounds at the Cornplanter Run site in Warren County. He discovered in the mounds round stone crypts, built of stone slabs, with a stone roof. All the burials were empty, but one of them preserved a blade, red ocher and calcified bone. According to Carpenter's report, a local artifact collector named Dudley A. Martin plundered the tombs prior to his research. Fortunately, Martin himself spoke of his findings in the January 27, 1937 issue of the Altuna Tribune newspaper:

Dudley A. Martin, an octogenarian and collector of Native American relics, claims that nearly fifty years ago he was present at the discovery of some curious mounds on the Cornplanter Indian Reservation in Warren County. after opening one of the mounds it turned out that it was full of rattlesnakes … In one mound, the skeleton of a leader, seven feet tall (2.1 m), was found, on which there were many barbaric adornments and jewelry."

There are many similar accounts of mounds with features similar to the Kornplanter mounds along the Pennsylvania-New York border:

"… just outside the boundary line in the Genesi township, a mound about fourteen feet in diameter (4.2 m), surrounded by a stone wall about three or four feet (1.2 m) high … Some curious people dug up the side of this mound and brought up a giant human skeleton, as well as the bones of a dog, almost all the bones crumbled upon contact with air … Together with the bones, numerous flint arrowheads, several stone decorations and about a pint of small shells were found, which also soon disintegrated upon contact with air. ""

“In December 1886, W. H. Scoville of the Andrews settlement discovered a mound in Ellisburg. His examination revealed parts of a human skeleton ranging in size from seven to eight feet.” -Michael Leeson, History of McKean, Elk, Cameron and Potter, PA, JH Beers & Co., 1860.

"This mound was opened by vandals about 25 years ago, and whole skeletons in good condition were thrown away or carried away by schoolchildren. Many of the remains were found near the surface, covered with wide stones, while others were found at a considerable depth. a large number of arrowheads, discoids, stone axes and beads of various kinds were found. Some of the skeletons were so large that they indicated that the people who lived at the time the mound was built belonged to the race of giants."

-Pittsburgh Daily Post, October 7, 1895.

Archaeological research in recent years suggests that the cultural history of Western Pennsylvania - including the barrows of Aden, Hopewell, and Late Woodland - needs revision. Perhaps, as these new studies are carried out, more information on obscure and obscure places will become available.

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