Friday, October 20, 2023

Visiting the Cass County, Michigan Giant's Burial Mound

 Visiting the Cass County, Michigan Giant's Burial Mound

Giant skeletons have been found mainly in the southern parts of Michigan. One group of burial mounds in Michigan may be oldest in the Midwest, dating as early as 3,500 B.C. : Maritime Archaic Burial Mounds in Newaygo County, Michigan Could Date as Early as 2,500 B.C.

History of Cass County, Michigan, 1882

   The largest mounds in the county are those upon the farm of Joseph Walter. Three beautiful and regular mounds occur here, situated in a line from east to west. A short distance south of them is a well-defined ditch which forms a perfect horseshoe, measuring from one hundred and six feet in length by one hundred feet in width. There is no trace of embankment in connection with the excavations. For what purpose the horseshoe-shaped enclosure was made by ancient people can, of course, only be conjectured. There is no probability, however, that it was designed, as so many suppose it to have been for work of defense.

   One of the three large mounds, which have been mentioned, was excavated in September 1878, by Dr. E.J. Bonine, of Niles, who operated under the auspices of the Smithsonian Institution. It was a mound as about thirteen feet high (Originally it must have been of greater altitude), and the diameter of its base was about fifty feet. On the summit of the mound, within the memories of settlers, stood a burr oak tree four feet in diameter, and probably three hundred years old. A shaft was sunk by the excavators into the center of the mounds that was found to be to composed throughout of the same soil as that of the surrounding plain – a rich black loam. Almost invariably the human remains found under the mounds rest upon the natural surfaces of the earth, the mounds simply being heaped over them, but in this case the internment was several feet below the original level. Several skeletons were found, being those of men, women and children, a number of fragments of pottery, a curious bone or ivory ornament, bearing some resemblance to a walrus tooth, several amulets pierced with holes, through which thongs had doubtless once been placed to attach them to the person, several bone implements and five copper hatchets of fine edge and good formation. Portions of the skeletons were in a good state of preservation. The femur, or thighbone, of one of the males, which Dr. Bonine has now in his possession, is of great size and indicates that its owner must have been at least seven feet in height.