Monday, March 27, 2023

Three Adena Mounds in Waverly, Ohio Positioned in a Perfect Triangle


Three Adena Mounds in Waverly, Ohio Positioned in a Perfect Triangle

Ohio Historical and Archaeological  Publication, 1900   
   As the mounds had all been located upon the map along this valley the party moved to Waverly. Mr. McKenzie, who owns a group of three mounds just south of the town, gave permission for explorations. The large mound of the group, lying near the Norfolk and Western railroad tracks, is shown in Figure XX.
     “The mounds owned by Mr. McKenzie are upon the second terrace of the Scioto. Two of them are small. The three form a triangle thus: 

Three mounds together are the most common number of the Adena mound builders.  Many of these were placed together to form a perfect triangle

 “July 16. We located upon the group mentioned, While the men prepared for work I located ten or twelve stone graves upon Mr. A. Lee’s farm south of the town.  “The small mound is forty feet in diameter and three feet high. We dug out its center, sixteen by ten by eight feet. (See A in plan above.) It was built of rich, dark earth. In the center was a skeleton on the bottom, headed northwest and extended. It was finely preserved. Bone beads were about the neck. (See Figure XXII. This plate, devoted entirely to finds in and around Waverly, need not be described in the text. The explanation in detail, opposite the figure, will give the locality of each object.) There were two copper buttons clasped in each hand, the arms being extended along the sides. There was nothing else in this structure. “The mound (B) was fifty feet in diameter and four feet high. It was of the same material. The entire central portion was opened. A skeleton lay upon the bottom in the center, headed north and extended. There were two fragmentary skeletons near the surface and these were intrusive, I think. “In each hand was a copper button. Under the skull was a small wooden button about the size of a five cent piece, which was copper covered. “The large mound (C, shown in Figure XX), which has been somewhat reduced by cultivation, now stands six feet high and one hundred and twenty-five feet across the base. The soil in it is similar to that noticed in the others. Our trench started from the west side and was thirty feet wide. We found one skeleton ten feet southwest of the center, headed north. Like nearly all burials, it lay on the back, extended, and was five feet eight inches in length. The earth was all of a dark color about it.' None of the bones could be saved. Just north of this one, upon a well-marked base line, was another body. It lay a little to the east. It was of medium size, decayed and the soil about it Was very dark. About five feet from the center of the mound was a third skeleton, headed south and partly buried in the sand. Around it was a dark outline. The teeth showed medium age. Its height, five feet nine inches. We could not preserve it. Nearer the center was the fourth burial. It lay upon a raised platform of earth, one foot high, and all around the skeleton was pure, white sand. It was five feet and nine inches long and from the teeth I should judge it was of middle age. The muscular attachments of the bones were well developed. Bones were large but not massive. (Figure XXI shows the skeleton after having been carefully “brought out” by the hand trowels and whisk brooms, so that the bones could be well shown in a photograph. Because of the lack of contrast between bones and earth it is extremely difficult to procure a clear view of a skeleton.) 

Adena Skeleton Uncovered in the Waverly, Ohio Burial Mound

The Ohio Historical Society failed to mention the skull of the skeleton. Note the protruding brow ridge with no forehead and the skull goes straight back and flat on this elongated skull. While this skeleton was less than six feet, it has the skull characteristics of a giant.

    This was one of the best mound skeletons I ever uncovered. Three arrowheads lay along the right arm and between the knees was a piece of worked antler. " “South of this was the skeleton of a child of but a few months of age. Beneath the child’s skeleton, but a few inches; was the skeleton of a doe. Among the bones was the calcis of an adult. It was unusually large. Four feet north and four feet deep was the tibiae of a skeleton surrounded by spearheads. They Were twenty in number, twelve being broken. 'No other bones or traces were found. ' “Four feet east of this cache of spears on the baseline lay another extended skeleton. On the left wrist was a copper bracelet. The bones could not be taken out entire. About three feet east of the center, lying on the baseline and in a small bed of ashes about twelve inches in diameter, was a cremated skeleton. With the bones were an arrow-head and' a polished celt. Southeast was the skeleton of a child near the surface. From indications, I think it to have been a recent interment—probably of the whites. This concluded the exploration of this mound.”