Monday, September 1, 2014

Smithsonian Reports 7 1/2 Foot Giant in a South Charleston, West Virginia Burial Mound

Smithsonian Reports 7 1/2 Foot Giant in a South Charleston, West Virginia Burial Mound


South Charleston, West Virginia burial mound as it looks today. Numerous giant skeletons were reported by the Smithsonian around Charleston, West Virgina.


Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Smithsonian Institute, Volume 5, Parts 1883-1884

A large mound situated on the farm of Col. B. H. Smith, near Charleston, is conical in form, about 175 feet in diameter at the base and 35 feet high. It appears to be double; that is to say, it consists of two mounds, one built on the other, the lower or original one 20 feet and the upper 15 feet high.
The exploration was made by sinking a shaft, 12 feet square at the top and narrowing gradually to 6 feet square at the bottom, down through the center of the structure to the original surface of the ground and a short distance below it. After removing a slight covering of earth, an irregular mass of large, rough, flat sandstones, evidently brought from the bluffs half a mile distant, was encountered. Some of these sandstones were a good load for two ordinary men.
The removal of a wagon load or so of these stones brought to light a stone vault 7 feet long and 4 feet deep, in the bottom of which was found a large and much decayed human skeleton, but wanting the head, which the most careful examination failed to discover. A single rough spear head was the only accompanying article found in this vault. At the depth of 6 feet, in earth similar to that around the base of the mound, was found a second skeleton, also much decayed, of an adult of ordinary size. At 9 feet a third skeleton was encountered, in a mass of loose, dry earth, surrounded by the remains of a bark coffin. This was in a much better state of preservation than the other two. The skull, which was preserved, is of the compressed or " flat-head" type.
For some 3 or 4 feet below this the earth was found to be mixed with ashes. At this depth in his downward progress Colonel Norris began to encounter the remains of what further excavation showed to have been a timber vault, about 12 feet square and 7 or 8 feet high. From the condition in which the remains of the cover were found, he concludes that this must have been roof-shaped, and, having become decayed, was crushed in by the weight of the addition made to the mound. Some of the walnut timbers of this vault were as much as 12 inches in diameter.
In this vault were found five skeletons, one lying prostrate on the floor at the depth of 19 feet from the top of the mound, and four others, which, from the positions in which they were found, were supposed to have been placed standing in the four corners. The first of these was discovered at the depth of 14 feet, amid a commingled mass of earth and decaying bark and timbers, nearly erect, leaning against the wall, and surrounded by the remains of a bark coffin. All the bones except those of the left forearm were too far decayed to be saved; these were preserved by two heavy copper bracelets which yet surrounded them.
The skeleton found lying in the middle of the floor of the vault was of unusually large size, "measuring 7 feet 6 inches in length and 19inches between the shoulder sockets." 
[graphic]
Fig. 21.—Copper gorget from mound, Kanawha County, West Virginia.
   It had also been inclosed in a wrapping or coffin of bark, remains of which were still distinctly visible. It lay upon the back, head east, legs together, and arms by the sides. There were six heavy bracelets on each wrist; four others were found under the head, which, together with a spear-point of black flint, were incased in a mass of mortar like substance, which had evidently been wrapped in some textile fabric. Ou the breast was a copper gorget (Fig. 21). In each hand were three spear-heads of black flint, and others were about the head, knees, and feet. Near the right hand were two hematite celts, and on the shoulder were three large and thick plates of mica. About the shoulders, waist, and thighs were numerous minute perforated shells and shell beads