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  • The mound builders

    here is another paper that appears to be affiliated with The university of Ky. I did find it fascinating. I don’t have the knowledge to know how much is true or has been debunked since.
    http://www.uky.edu/OtherOrgs/KPS/boo...nkwebbch05.pdf

  • #2
    We used to have a ton of mounds in my area. They have been bulldozed by history ignorant people in the 20's and 30's.

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    I live next to Scioto county, and just look at all those mounds! They are all gone now except for one, which is in terrible condition. I should probably do a river walk one day.
    "The education of a man is never completed until he dies." Robert E. Lee

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    • #3
      I have been waiting anxiously to read this all day on a screen larger than my phone. Now I’m sitting down to do just that. Having walked, climbed, and wandered all over some of the most famous (and some almost completely unknown)mounds in the south, I always enjoy reading about mounds.
      thanks for sharing!

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      • Jethro355
        Jethro355 commented
        Editing a comment
        Page 89, burial #13...that’s what the guys who taught me everything I know call a “bundle burial”.
        From info gleaned from conversation with a lady archaeologist and my friends, I have learned that apparently sometimes people die at inopotune moments and/or places. As tradition in some cultures, your bones should be mingled with the bones of your fathers, so burial in a foreign land was just not ok. It would not be easy(or pleasant) to transport a body a great distance to conduct a proper burial, so the body would be de-boned. There is some discrepancy on how this was done. Some believe it was as simple as leaving the body on an elevated structure for a few days to allow the carrion creatures to do the dirty work(this was a known practice in The Saharan tribal cultures until as recently as about 50 years ago). Some believe that for expediency, the body was de-boned like one would a deer or bear. In either instance, the bones were often subjected to a sort of fire to dry them further, not thrown into a fire, but sort of smoked, if you will. It made the bones lighter and as a perhaps unintended side affect, they also were far more resistant to decay.

        It’s fascinating to see one in the ground, as the entire burial will be no greater than the length of the long bones. They would have wrapped them in a hide of some sort for transport, and usually buried them in the same.

        Anyway, I love this stuff.
        Sorry for prattling on like an angry old hen.

    • #4
      Really interesting Jethro. Thanks for your comments.
      Myself, I am taken back by the differences in the skulls and the deformities, in some situations. I don’t understand this????
      Secondly, I only recently began to seriously look into Native American history. I am socked at how ignorant I was/am!!!
      Thirdly, I am stunned as to how little is known about Native American history. I know many will disagree with that statement and to be fair there appears to be more understanding now than say 100 years ago. And, it seems the majority of what is believed is up for legitimate debate. Archaeologists seem to be somewhat uninterested or underfunded. It looks like they would rather spend their funds on dinosaur bones and that’s understandable as well. Surprisingly, collectors appear to be the vanguard of knowledge in this arena. It’s like no other study I have undertaken 🤔
      Last edited by Owen70; 09-21-2018, 06:50 AM.

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      • #5
        Owen , this a a great article and yes quite the debate about knowledge . I think you nailed it when you said funding . I have read stacks of books from cultures to artifacts . It all seems to start in the early 20’s but then I noticed the last books that I had read the most recent information really stopped in the 80’s .
        Now there are yes new findings and links every day but the cluster of books published with the dig sites seem to be finished then . Like Kentucky said so many area are under our cities as well with modern times .
        I always say in 1000 years when those buildings/ cities come down there will be a wealth of artifacts .
        And like you mentioned with new technology we will probably scan under a building and be able to say what it is .
        That part about deformities is interesting . The burials with the heads facing East for sunrise . I would imagine that has been a long time known factor with the Japanese culture .
        Just a wealth of information .
        Really enjoyed Jethro knowledge on this .
        People still look the other way when building modern sites . I hear these stories . Yes a few bones will be picked up but the job must get finished.

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        • #6
          Thanks Tam. I had never thought about the buildings coming down in a few hundred or 1000 years and a trove of artifacts showing up. That’s interesting.
          I remember an older gentleman and a close friend telling me the artifacts and mounds were a nuisance to his farming practices. He had little sense of history and his humble upbringing and remembrance of the Great Depression made him a truly driven and prosperous man. Artifact collecting would have been folly to him.
          i am truly interested as to how this country got its start and the happenings that have led us to where we are today. I wonder sometimes if society has decided to leave good enough alone when it comes to two civilizations who crashed, sometimes cruelly, into one another.

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          • #7
            Owen, a huge part of the problem with the history is that our white/European fathers tried to erase it. They tried to eliminate the natives and their culture altogether.

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            • #8
              Hey Jethro, do you think it was a systematic attempt to wipe out history they weren’t proud of or was it much like the farmer I described above? He had no animosity towards the NA’s, their artifacts were simply in the way of his progress? Don’t aim to drag this out, I’m really curious as to how we got here. I said in another post that I was shocked to find how little I knew about NA history when I really began to study it. I was introduced to their history through school, news, and TV and most of it was a completely and rediculously wrong. I had no idea Native Americans tattooed themselves, pierced their ears,lips, etc., farmed (to some degree), did not use a bow and arrows until the last couple thousand years, the use of horses, at least in the eastern US was historically a recent advent, etc. And I have found a lot about my ancestors that I am not proud of as well.

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              • Jethro355
                Jethro355 commented
                Editing a comment
                I honestly believe it was a mixture of both. The majority saw them as an impedance to progress. I think the removal was carried out by the minority who held animosity.
                I don’t mind you dragging it out. I enjoy this discussion,

              • Jethro355
                Jethro355 commented
                Editing a comment
                Yep...the Nez Perce name actually means “pierced nose”.

                Lots of the Quapaw and late Mississippian had tattoos and practiced ritual scarification. In the notes by Desoto’ scribes, they mentioned it a few times. (Phillips/ Ford, &Griffith : An archaeological survey in the lower Mississippi alluvial plane.). If you can find a copy of that anywhere, it’s worth it just to read the nots from Desoto s men. An actual first hand account of what they saw, five hundred years ago.

              • Owen70
                Owen70 commented
                Editing a comment
                Jethro, I have read snippets from the DeSoto scribes. I would love to find more but have been unable. I Enjoy the discussion and access to the knowledge here.

            • #9
              Owen I went back and was reading all of the differnt countries in Europe back to about the1500’s and earlier . Spent a good amount of time trying to learn all the wars and religion uproars .Tried to understand the trips I took over there and what it all meant . But when it comes to America its like Jethro said . They tried to wipe it out . The county I am in , in Georgia settlers were asked to come in and homstead in the 1700’s and on . They ran the Swiftcreek tribes out .now this is from just talk from old timers . But I go look at the gravesites and it does tell a story. Early 1800’s till late .
              I really like to study the Paloe to Archaic times when there were no inturbution’s from the Euro side .
              Actually some of the coolest points have been found there in the dirt that was left aside . Many years of rain

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              • Jethro355
                Jethro355 commented
                Editing a comment
                Tam, you talk about the “left aside” dirt...this brings up a cool memory and a tie-in to the natives....
                There is a site at a small community called Ferrell, in Mississippi, and the site is simply called “Humber”. I think the registry name is McWilliams-Humber, and It’s named after the land owner as was common. Funny thing about it...it was not a known village, mound, or ceremonial site. It’s an absolutely flat cotton field. It’s not elevated in the slightest...not more than 5’ variation across a mile or more. There is nothing on the surface to lead one to believe it was ever even walked across by anyone. Right next to the field across a gravel road is a small Southern Church and graveyard. The entire property is just an acre. The only way the site was discovered, when they would dig a grave to bury one of the church members, they kept unearthing this beautiful pottery and some bone. It is a poor community, and the church consists of black people, and in the sixties in Mississippi, they didn’t want ANYBODY knowing they were digging up dead people to bury their dead, so it was just kept quiet.

                The official report says it was a village and cemetery...but I have never been able to find any evidence of occupation. I have heard many people speculate that it was a site that many Quapaw in the area brought their dead to to bury. I don’t know for sure, but I do not it would likely have never been found had it not been for the graves across the road. The site actually extends much further than the church, it runs under the levee and on towards the river a good bit.

                I am still a little skeptical of the claims of a village, as one can usually find evidence of such SOMEWHERE on the surface.

                I do know this, many of the finest examples of polychrome pottery ever found came from there. The “startled fawn”, at least one “polychrome dog”( the one often referred to as “The Quapaw Dog by pot collectors) , I believe the “otter” was found there, tons of teapots and long narrow necks...it’s the stuff dreams are made of.

                I have several pieces of broken ones that I’ve picked up from “leftover dirt” at the grave sites. It is unquestionably the finest finish and construction I’ve ever seen, and I would venture a guess that 80% or more buried there is painted.

                I know that in 75 or 76, the Unniversity did a dig there and seriously hampered Mr. Humber’s cotton production, but they DID find some phenomenal grave goods which are in a museum now in Northern Mississippi. I also know some of the old pot hunters who dug there prior to the School, for several years, and some of the wealthier people in that area own the results of those finds. I wish I had some pics to post. I’m going to go look right now and see what I can find...

            • #10
              You know Jethro I am glad you brought this up . Very interesting . This is differnt but we go to these old grave sites that date early 1800’s looking for 1700 . Give our respects to the dead but in doing this found the way it was back then . Cotton plantations
              and the owner buried with a headstone and then just markers for the slaves . That’s a a historical and sad thing for me to see . The people back then in digging a grave did not care about NA artifacts in fact they would move them out . But they were there thousands of years before they were. If they were dug up they were obviously tossed aside or left in a heap of dirt . Here is one example of that . Hold on for it have to resize if I can .

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              • #11
                Won’t load I could email it to you . But just G-10 4 inch blades , tools is sad and historically interesting at the same time . I can’t imagine what’s in your site .

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                • #12
                  Owen give me the link on the Desoto scribes you like .

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                  • Owen70
                    Owen70 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Tam, give me a bit of time. I think it was in some of the univ. Of Ky. papers. I have read so much lately. I remember it was about the physical appearance of NA’s. Mainly dealing with tattoos, body painting, piercing, and the items both natural and man made that were utilized to adorn themselves.

                  • Owen70
                    Owen70 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    https://anthrosource.onlinelibrary.w....11.3.02a00040
                    I am fairly certain some of Desoto’s writings are in the volume of this link. Any way it’s an interesting read.

                • #13
                  I am going to read that entire book Owen ! Thank you
                  you know it’s amazing how the Spanish really did concour the new world from coast to coast looking for riches .
                  Growing up in Cal so many streets are named after the Spanish . Even my middle school was named Portola .
                  I love the part in the book about his trade route to China so that explains the Philippines culture . I listen to that from my friends from there .

                  Comment


                  • Owen70
                    Owen70 commented
                    Editing a comment
                    Great!

                • #14
                  A guy named Ranjel was his personal secretary, and another of the scribes was a guy named Elvas, the third one was Biedema, (I likely butchered the spelling, just going off of memory)or something similar I think.
                  Historians say there are no actual copies of the notes, only recollected memories of those who originally wrote them.

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                  • #15
                    I did read that actually digging deep .
                    Thanks Jethro .

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