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more probable, as it is observed that the children's skulls found here exbibit the saine peculiarity in a more marked degree; the adults having probably partially outgrown its effect. The heavy, superciliary ridge, retreating forehead, and protruding and very wide jaws, and great bimastoidal diameter, as compared with the bi-parietal, are indicative of physical rather than of mental or moral capacity.

The accompanying description, with table of measurements by Dr. Farquharson, will abundantly sbow such prevailing peculiarities as fully identify them as skulls of genuine mound-builders."

As portions of all parts of the skeleton are found, it would appear that the whole of each has been deposited there, though thrown in rather “promiscuously." The heads were nearly all lying in the same direction, southward, in some cases in contact with each other, and the otier parts so intermingled and decomposed as to make it impossible to trace any one skeleton, or to determine to which one an individual bone belonged. Many of the small bones and the softer portions of the larger ones are entirely gone. The best-preserved skeleton, No. 3, was lying stretched out in a horizontal position, with the face upward, and was a few inches above the rest, and, of those which were piled in together, one was lying on its right side.

The sand below, above, and around the bones presents the same uniform appearance, from a yellowish-gray to a reddish brown color, except that that immediately about them is usually a little darker; and occasional irregular and uneven streaks of rather darker sand are found, as if some loads or parcels of the earth of which the heap is formed had been partly of a dirtier surface-soil, and had been thrown scattering over the surface and then covered with cleaner sand. A few of the most southern mounds, where the earth is gravelly, are composed of sand and gravel, showing that, as in the other cases, they are built of the material Dearest at hand.

It would appear that the process of interment had been a very simple one, viz, selecting a spot where the earth was loose, sandy, and easily removed; scraping away the earth to the depth of a foot or two, then carelessly depositing a few bodies, or rather perhaps a few skeletons, collected possibly from elevated scaffolds, trees, or other positions wbere the bodies had been previously placed; then replacing the sand which had been removed, and adding enough from the surrounding sur. face to raise a heap of such dimensions as the inclination to manual labor and the respect for the deceased would prompt. The position of the skeletons is a pretty certain indication that the bodies were not in. terred one at a time, as that could not have been done without in each instance entirely uncovering those previously buried, the skulls being in some cases in contact with each other.

In this mound no relics, such as weapons or implements, were found, except a very small fragment of pottery in the earth, about a foot from the surface, and an arrow-head of very peculiar form, which was lying among the bones.

Fig. 2.

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In November, several members of the academy visited the locality for the purpose of further exploration. On this occasion three more mounds were opened under the direction of Mr. A. S. Tiffany, who spent the previous day in making preparatory excavations, so that considerable search could be made in a few hours. He opened the mounds marked 2, 3, and 4 on the plan. Nos. 2 and 3 were similar in all respects to No. 1.

In No. 2 nothing was found except a few bones, the remains probably of only two or three bodies, very much decomposed, and a few teeth, of which only the crown remained. In No. 3, at the depth of six feet from the surface, were found the skeletons of four adults, lying stretched cut, face upward, two with heads toward the east and two toward the west. The four occupied a space of about four feet in width. Two children had also been buried there, perhaps at a later date, but their position could not be well ascertained. One of the skulls (skull No. 5) from this mound was obtained in a very perfect condition, except that most of the teeth are wanting. In this mound were discovered, lying immediately above the skeletons, several relics of considerable interest, viz, a plate of mica, about three by four inches and one-eighth of an inch thick, with several notches in the edges; a small lump of galena, surface much carbonized, and the corners worn, apparently by handling; a dove-colored flint arrow-head, very finely wrought, sharp, and smooth, (No. 2 ;) several flakes of white flint; and a strangely-formed bone implement, charm, nasal ornament, or whatever it may have been, (No. 3.) It is a frag. ment of a marrow bone, four and a half inches long, and one and a quarter wide at the middle, tapering nearly to a point at the ends, one of which is more pointed than the other, and much curved edgewise. Close to the edge, at the convex side, at the widest part of the bone,

are four holes, about one-eighth of an inch in diameter, but differing slightly. They have the appearance of having been drilled with a tool not much, if at all, tapering in form, and with a square cutting-edge, which was not worked entirely through, as there remains in each hole, on the inner side, a little edge which is not quite cut away. Across the bone, near the larger end, are two rows of holes—five and six in a rowone-tenth of an inch or less in depth, drilled with some round-pointed instrument. One curved line is cut across, as shown in the figure. The article seems much worn by handling. What was its use, we can scarcely conjecture; and some Indians (Sacs and Foxes) to whom it bas been shown, can give no clue.

The mound numbered 5 on the plan is like the others in material and structure, except that it is much larger, being about sixty feet long, thirty feet wide, and seven feet high. In this mound an excavation was made in the middle, only about five feet square, which we hope to work out more thoroughly at another time.

About two feet below the surface was found a much-decayed frag: ment of the "shin-bone” of some mammal, possibly the bison ; and a little deeper, two fragments of pottery, parts, apparently, of the same vessel, and bearing impressions on the outer surface of some kind of woven or matted fabric. At the depth of nine feet was discovered a large and remarkably well-preserved skeleton, almost entire, wanting only a few of the very small bones, fingers, and toes, and the more perishable portions of a few of the larger ones.

The skull (No. 6) is in tolerably good condition, and contains the entire set of sound teeth. The pelvis was obtained almost perfect, which was the case in no other instance. This skeleton, also, was lying at full length, with the face upward and head to the east, in the direction of the transverse diameter of the mound.

Iminediately south of this was another skeleton, and over these some others, all in a less perfect state of preservation than the one first mentioned, and the bones somewhat intermingled with it and each other. One was that of a child of ten or twelve years. Close to the skeletons, and immediately north of the first named, were a number of stones lying, whether by accident or design, in a very irregular row, probably accidental. Among the human bones was a piece of the lower jaw of the deer or elk, containing four molars, all well preserved.

So far as our observations go no metallic articles of any kind are found there, though it is reported that some years since a copper knife was taken from one of the mounds.

Many of the mounds have been opened and partially explored by cit. izens and visitors in search of curiosities, and of late such visits are more frequent than ever. That these structures were merely burialplaces and nothing more, is evident from the fact that, ordinarily, there is in them no trace of floor or roof, and no charred wood or bones, or other indications of fire.

Some estimate of the original maximum height of these tumuli may be formed from the observation that sandy earth, such as that of which they are composed, will not remain in position on a slope of more than 400 from the horizontal; they could not, therefore, have been higher, even if raised to a point at the apex, than two-fifths of the width at the base; and the very first rain or wind would reduce them considerably. As they are now, they would probably remain, with contour unchanged by the action of the elements, for a thousand years to come.

In one of the largest mounds, (W,) about twelve feet high, and standing on the highest ground, opened some years since, was discovered an inclosure of “dry wall,” some ten feet square, containing a number of skeletons supposed to have been buried in a sitting posture, with no indication of any covering or floor having ever been there, save the earth of which the whole mound was composed. A portion of this wall, wbich still remained exposed, we carefully removed for examination, and found it to be built of the fossiliferous limestone common in the neighborhood, brought probably from near the river-bank, a quarter of a mile distant and a hundred feet lower'; laid up with tolerable evenness on the inner side. It was about three feet high, two feet thick at the top, and three feet at the base, piled up loosely, the lower stones broad and flat, rather heavier than one man could well carry, and lying on the clean, yellowish sand. Some of the stones had been burned red previously to being placed in position. This inclosure was entirely at one side of the center of the mound, and nothing of interest was found in the other part.

This region has long been occupied by the tribe of Indians known as the Sacs and Foxes, who came from the region of the Saint Lawrence over two hundred years ago, and remained until about the period of the Black Hawk war, about 1832.

George L. Davenport, esq., of this city, who was born on the island of Rock Island, in 1817, and was the first white child born in this section of the country, and who has been intimately acquainted with the Indians for over fifty years, and speaks their language, informs us that the natives positively had no knowledge of these structures, and paid no attention whatever to them. They bad a village or town in the immediate neighborhood of the mounds, though their principal town was near the site of the present city of Rock Island.

It is, therefore, certain that the mounds presented much the same appearance many years ago as now, and that these Indians neither constructed nor used them.

No evidences of intrusive burials” have, in any instance, been discovered, and without doubt the mounds have been as at present, and entirely undisturbed, for many centuries, until opened by recent explorers.

We inclose herewith a diagram of the group of mounds, also drawings of the relics exhumed, and a series of photographs of all the well preserved crania.

We also have the pleasure of presenting an exhaustive report upon the crania, by Dr. R. J. Farquharson, a member of the Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences, including measurements, analyses, and careful comparison with skulls of other races of men, and with other wellauthenticated mound-builders' skulls.

We also inclose Mr. A. S. Tiffany's description of the locality, on Rock Island, where he discovered the skull which is represented by photograph No. 8.



This lot of bones was obtained from mounds near Albany, II., by the Davenport Academy of Sciences. The topography, &c., of these mounds is given in the preceding paper by Mr. Pratt, who conducted the explorations.

In the first place, an attempt was made by a rude analysis to arrive at the probable age of these bones. A small part of the middle portion of one of the long bones was incinerated, with the following result: Weight before incineration, thirty-eight grains; afterward, thirty grains; loss, eight grains; equal to 20 per cent.

Fresh bone, (dry,) Berzelius....
Mound-builder's bone...

Mineral matter. Animal matter. 67

33 79




Now, as the lightness, or diminished specific gravity of these bones, precludes the idea of an increase of the mineral matter, and also as we know that, in certain conditions of soil, an actual loss of mineral matter. takes place, we may safely infer that a considerable loss of animal matter has here taken place; a loss even greater than what the above fig. ures would seem to indicate.

But, unfortunately, these data will not afford even an approximate estimate as to the time since these bones were buried.

“In an old Roman frontal bone dug up from Pompeii, Dr. Davy found 35.5 animal parts, and 64.5 earthy; and in the tooth of the mammoth 30.5 animal, and 69.5 earthy." (Todd and Bowman's Anatomy, vol. 1, p. 105.)

Orfila, in his Exbumations Juridiques, (vol. 1, p. 350,) states that bones buried in the cemetery of the Innocents, Paris, over six hundred years, yielded, in analysis, 27 per cent. of gelatin and 10 per cent. of fat; while fresh ones yielded only 30 per cent. of gelatin, showing only a slight alteration. On the other hand, bones exhumed from the church-yard of Ste. Geneviève, Paris, after a burial of over seven hundred years, showed marked alteration, which he describes as follows: Very brittle,

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