Thursday, November 21, 2013

Nephilim Giant's Graveyard Uncovered in Northern Ohio


Nephilim Giant's Graveyard Uncovered in Northern Ohio







HISTORY  OF  ASHTABULA  COUNTY, 1878


The mounds that were situated in the eastern part of what is now the village of Conneaut and the extensive burying ground near the Presbyterian Church, appear to have had no connection with the burying places of the Indians. They doubtless refer to a more remote period and are the relics of an extinct race, of whom the Indians had no knowledge. These mounds were of comparatively small size, and of the same general character of those that are widely scattered over the country. What is most remarkable concerning them is that among the quantity of human bones they contain, there are found specimens belonging to men of large stature, and who must have been nearly allied to a race of giants. Skulls were taken from these mounds, the cavities of which were of sufficient capacity to admit the head of an ordinary man, and jaw-bones that might be fitted on over the face with equal facility. The bones of the arms and lower limbs were of the same proportions, exhibiting ocular proof of the degeneracy of the human race since the period in which these men occupied the soil which we now inhabit. These mounds were, doubtless, held in great veneration in the ages to which they refer, not only as the depositories of their dead, but probably as the altars where their religious rites and sacrifices were performed, which may account for the origin of the custom which so universally prevails among christian nations, of burying their dead under or in the immediate vicinity of the churches. It is certain that, on opening the mounds, they are found to contain a quantity of charcoal, which may be the remains of the sacrificial wood, and fragments of a strong earthen ware, which may be the remnants of the vessels in which their incense was offered.

The ancient burying grounds referred to, situated a little west of the site where the brick church now stands, presents an object of deeper interest perhaps than any other relic remaining in the neighborhood. It occupied an area of about four acres of land, extending northward from the bank of the creek, near the brick church, to Main street, and westward to the present residence of Mr. Horatio Thurber, and cresting, with the exception of an angle in the south line, in compliance with the course of the bank, the form of an oblong square. It appeared to have been accurately surveyed into lots, running from the north to the south, and to exhibit all the order and propriety of arrangement deemed requisite to constitute christian burial. 

If the observation be just that the character of a people may be estimated by the order and taste displayed in their places of sepulchre, we shall be led to judge favorably of that people whose remains have long mouldered beneath these graves. On the first examination of the ground by the settlers they found it covered with trees not distinguishable from the surrounding forest, except an opening near the center containing a single butternut, which still remains to mark the spot. The graves were distinguished by slight depressions in the surface of the earth disposed in straight rows, with the intervening spaces, or alleys, cover[ing] the whole area within the boundaries before specified, which was estimated to contain from two to three thousand graves. These depressions, on a thorough examination made by Esq. Aaron Wright, as early as 1800, were found invariably to contain human bones, blackened with time, which on exposure to the air soon crumbled to dust.

The imagination in pained in endeavoring to penetrate the mystery in which the history of this people is shrouded. That the multitude whose mortal remains people these mansions of the dead, once existed, that they lived, died and were buried, is sufficiently obvious; but, of their origin, language, religion, or political and social condition, we can know absolutely nothing.

It will naturally be inferred that a burying ground of the character above described, must have been located amidst a populous district, and that the surrounding country has once been filled with a multitude of human inhabitants.

Evidence in confirmation of this fact is likewise obtained from the traces of ancient cultivation observed by the first settlers on the lands in the vicinity, which although covered with forest, exhibited signs of having once been thrown up into squares and terraces, and laid out into gardens.