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on this question. There is a considerable space of ground, nearly two hundred yards distant, where it seems manifest that the upper stratum of the surface soil has been carried away. A uniform upper stratum of soil is common to a large extent in this bottom-land, but in this one spot this layer is gone. It seems, therefore, probable that the earth of which these mounds were constructed was all carried from this place. An approximate estimate of the cubical quantity of the superficial earth removed from this depression, corresponds closely to what seems to have been the original quantity in the recent mounds. It is difficult to understand what motive could induce human beings to impose on them. selves such a task as to carry such an amount of earth two hundred yards. But if the amount of material necessary to eréct these mounds had been taken from any immediate piece of ground on this uniform surface, some depressions would have remained as evidence of it. But at the distance of two hundred yards we find this depression, which is nearly as hard to account for by any natural process as it would be to explain the mounds themselves by natural agencies.
There is another quite extensive range of mounds in the same town.. ship, on grounds bordering a stream of water called Eliza Creek. So far as I have observed, this group seems to relate to a very ancient period of time. Few of the mounds, to my knowledge, have been opened. I am told that traces of ashes have been found in them, and, in some of them, human remains in a much decayed condition.
Another very extensive range of mounds is located in the township of New Boston, which is the next township south of Eliza. These are on the south side of the Edwards River, where this stream winds its course across the higher bottom-lands of the Mississippi. The ground of these mounds has been under cultivation for many years, hence but obscure traces of them now remain. Their location as on the open prairie, about a half-mile from the timber-grounds bordering the Edwards.
Broken pottery, pipes, and some implements were found by early settlers in the vicinity of these structures; but I have been unable to learn with certainty whether these were disinterred from the mounds themselves.
There is, however, one circumstance in connection with this group of earth works that should not be passed unnoticed. Between them and the Edwards is a long range of depressions in the ground. This range of depressions runs nearly parallel to the range of mounds, and is about forty rods distant. The size of these hollows seems to correspond very nearly with the size of the adjacent mounds. The conjecture seems unavoidable that from each of these depressions sufficient earth was carried to construct a single mound. These excavations have no raised borders to indicate that the earth was merely thrown out; they indicate that so much carth has been really taken away; and, further, I learn that the number of these depressions corresponds quite
nearly with the number of the adjacent mounds, being about one hundred and fifty.
Another considerable group of mounds is located in the same town. ship of New Boston, several miles farther up the Edwards, on high terrace-ground, about a half-mile from the stream. This group was entirely away from timber, the situation being forinerly covered with grass. For many years the ruthless plow has been leveling down these ancient memorials, and fields of grain have long waved over the ashes of a hy-gone race.
On the south side of Pope Creek, near where the valley of this stream cuts through the Mississippi Bluffs, is quite an extensive group of mounds. Some of them are high up on the brow of the bluffs. Nothing that I can learn distinguishes this group from others already spoken of. Human bones bave been found in some of them.
The next, and last, group of mounds to which we would call attention is about twelve miles from the Mississippi River, being the most remote from that river of any group in the country. It is situated near the north side of the township of Millers burgh, on the high-timbered division between the Edwards River and Camp Creek. Ashes and some much-decayed relics of human skeletons have been found in the few that have been opened. Some traces of ashes were found in the earth above the human remains.
I have made diligent inquiry of all the oldest settlers, and am unable to learn that any mounds are to be found in the eastern portion of the county, except that two or three iso lated ones, which are reported to be far up the Edwards. These I have never seen.
SHELL-HEAPS.-Before closing this paper, it may be proper to state that formerly very large shell-heaps existed on the bigh, sandy bank of the Mississippi, immediately below New Boston. But it seems more probable that these heaps of kitchen-refuse relate to the subsequent Indian race, and not to the mound-builders. Though these shell-heaps are in a considerable state of decay, enough remains of them to show that the shells belong to the present species of our rivers. Broken pottery is found about these heaps, and collections of burned stones, indicating old camp-fires; also, abundance of flint-chips, and some broken arrows, are found here, to indicate that flint-implements have been manufactured. A careful inspection of these flint-chips leads to the conclusion that the flint of which these implements were made was obtained from what is called the “cbert-bands” of the Burlington limestone. This formation crops out along the Mississippi, about forty miles below tbis place. Probably the material for the manufacture of tbese implements was brought up the river in canoes.
ANTIQUITIES OF WHITESIDE COUNTY, ILLINOIS.
By W. H. PRATT, OF DAVENPORT, Iowa.
Corresponding Secretary Davenport Academy Natural Sciences, Davenport, Iowa. On the eastern bank of the Mississippi River, in Whiteside County, Illinois, is situated the village of Albany. Over the bluffs in the neighborhood is a growth of young oak trees, the largest of which are ten or twelve inches in diameter. On the bluff and the slope toward the river, about a mile south or south west of the village, scattered irregularly over an area of about one-fourth by three-fourths of a mile, are fifty-one ancient mounds, the positions and dimensions of which I have approxi. mately determined, having spent several days in August of this year, 1873, in the exploration in the interest of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences.
A general view of the whole is represented in the accompanying plan, (Fig. 1.)
The land is owned by Mr. Samuel Rosenkranz, of Albany, who kindly allows the exploration and excavation of the mounds without restriction, except the reservation of a few of the most prominent. A few other mounds are said to exist not far distant to the northeast, but I have not seen them. It is also stated that two or three were removed some years since in making the grade of the Western Union Railroad, which passes close by the mounds, between them and the river. Over the area above mentioned he young timber has been mostly cut off, and on the higher portions evidently very few trees have ever existed. The soil is almost entirely sand. The bigh land or bluff terminates abruptly to the southward in a bold, narrow point.
A position on one of the highest mounds, some of which are situated on this point, commands one of the broadest views to be found in the whole Mississippi Valley, with a sweep of more than half a circle, including the river and valley, and islands to the north and west and southwest; and to the south and southeast the “ Dosia," as it is commonly called, or “ Maredosia Slough,” or, as it was originally named, the “ Marais d'Ogée," an ancient channel of many miles in extent, connecting the Rock River with the Mississippi. In this the current flows in either direction from the higher toward the lower of the two rivers at different times. The “slough” is a broad marsh, nearly dry during a dry season, and is believed to have been once the channel of a part of the Mississippi, which divided at this point, and re-united at the present mouth of Rock River, forty miles below. The location is one of rare beauty, and has doubtless been for ages, as it is now, a favorite resort of bunters, The high point above mentioned is a narrow and rather abrupt sand. ridge, formed doubtless by the action of the current when the Father of Waters occupied the entire breadth of the valley.
There is nothing in the relative position of the tumuli, as will be
readily seen by reference to the diagram, to indicate any arrangement or design whatever, except to construct them wbere it could be done with least labor, by taking advantage of the ridges and slight elevations of loose and sandy soil. The structures vary in height from two to twelve feet, the diameter being five or six times the height. They are usually circular, only four or five being elliptical, the length of these abont double the breadth, and the longer diameter being parallel with the river. The outline of surface is such as would naturally result from a rounded heap of sand or loose earth exposed for ages to the action of the elements, the surface being protected by such grasses, plants, bushes, or trees as the soil would produce. The exact height and diameter are consequently difficult to determine, but it would appear that they had originally been from four to fifteen feet in beight and perhaps four times those measures in diameter.
All of the largest mounds and several of the smaller are upon the high ground, from one hundred and twenty to one hundred and fifty feet above the river. The rest are on the slope between it and the river. · I selected for examination one of several similar mounds, which were situated in a row parallel with the river, and but a few rods porthwest of the sandy ridge, at some fifty feet lower level, and on ground sloping gently toward the Mississippi, wbich is distant about one-fourth of a mile. This wound is marked 1 on the plan. It was about four feet high and twenty-five in diameter. On the top was the stump of an oak tree, five inches in diameter. This mound is composed, as are the most of those which have been opened, of a loose fine sand, with here and there a stone of two or three pounds' weight or more, of the Niagara limestone and the sandstone common in this region, inany of them evidently having been subjected to the action of fire before they were placed there. No floor, wall, or internal structure of any kind was found, and the same is the case in almost all instances in this district.
Making an excavation from one side and toward the middle, on reach. ing a depth of six feet from the top, a quantity of human bones was discovered lying about in the center of the mound. Seven adult and one child's skulls were exhu med, the latter falling in pieces as soon as it was removed. The adult skulls were more or less crushed and distorted, and some portions entirely decayed ; two of them, however, were secured in tolerably good condition, one containing thirty-two sound teeth, the other wanting but two or three. Many teeth were found with fragments of decayed jaw-bones, and it is very evident that, whatever the troubles and trials to which their possessors were subject, that plague of modern times, the tooth-ache, was one from which they were pretty much exempt.
The crania have apparently been subjected in life to no artificial distortion nor compression, except, possibly, some flattening of the occipital region, such as is said to be produced by the position and manner in which some tribes confine the infant to a cradle-board. This seems the