Saturday, October 1, 2011

Hopewell Sioux and Iroquois Mound Builders in Henry County, Indiana

Historic Henry County,  map showing locations of burial mounds and earthworks in Henry County, Indiana with the exception that the small henge at the High School, on New Castle's south side, is not marked.  The red stick figures represent locations where giant human skeletons were reported.

   States that a five acre mound exists a few miles north of Kennert. In this mound were found giant skeletons with ivory beads.

     Letter to Frank Setzler, dated September 18, 1929 on file at the Indiana Historical Bureau, County Archaeological files, Indianapolis. Letter states a burial mound was excavated northeast of Shirley, in Henry County.

   There are 85 more mound and earthwork sites in Indiana. Many are some of Indiana's best tourists destinations. Get more histories, photos and directions to Indiana's ancient past with 'The Nephilim Chronicles: A Travel Guide to the Ancient Ruins in the Ohio Valley."  222 Burial mound and earthworks sites in Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Michigan. 

   Henry County; Past and Present: “A Brief History of the County from 1821 to 1871” by Elwood Pleas. 1871

Mounds, Earthworks, Etc.

       There are in the county many evidences of its having been the home of one or more races of people, now passes away. Numerous mounds and earthworks or fortifications are found in the county while flint, arrow and spear heads are found in almost every neighborhood, and it might be said on almost every farm in the county. Stone pestels, hammers, tomahawks or hatchets, and other implements and trinkets are found in portions of the county. Whether these belonged to the race of “red men” that immediately preceded the whites, or to a people they had displaced is perhaps an open question. It is into this part of the State, knew as little about the manufacture of these arrowheads and stone hatchets as we do today, and yet these very weapons have been the only implements used by their ancestors of two hundred years before. It would not have taken he of the “untutored mind” long to discover the superior murderous quality of a steel hatchet over the blunt implement of his sires, and of course, as the stone implement was superceded the art of manufacture was lost, and even a well defined tradition of its use soon passed away with people unused to letters.
This map is a revision from Eli Lillies orignal that puts the largest henge across the drive  that leads up to the site. The mounds and earthworks north of the drive are in an east west alignment and mark the yearly Equinox sunrise and sunset, along with the gateway of the largest henge.

     The most notable earthworks of the county are perhaps those on the “Hudelson place,” formerly the “Allen Shepherd farm.” Here are fortifications which have defied the ravages of the “tooth of time” for aught we know for a century, and the plowman’s share for half that time, and yet, in some instances from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the embankment is still four to six feet, though generally much less.  Several of them enclose near a half acre, and generally there is in the center a mound which was probably at one time much higher than the surrounding embankment and served as a sort of observatory and as well perhaps as a resting place for the dead. 
The significance of these measurements are the frequency in which they occur. The largest henge is 250 feet in diameter that shows up in many of the henges in the Ohio Valley, and especially around Chillicothe, Ohio. Gateways of 250 foot henges are generally aligned (as is this one) to the equinox.
This a map of just a few of the henges around Chillicothe, Ohio that were also 250 feet in diameter.

I discovered one of the 250 foot henges above Water Street in this lawn.  Henges that were 250 feet in diameter had smaller outer wall and ditches that surrounded the central platform.  

   There are one or more mounds without the surrounding ditch and embankments. One of the most noticeable is about two rods across at the base and near five feet in height although some body-snatcher has been thrusting his sacrilegious spade into it, with what result we know not. Like the famous general who “fit” in the Mexican war, these aboriginal engineers seemed to prefer having the ditch on the inside of the embankment, which probably served as a fence for the retention of stock as well as for defense from without. Some of the enclosures appear to have been circular, others quadrangular, one octagonal and some of irregular outline, though from the partial obliteration of the walls the exact state is not easily determined. Some of the walls were probably eight or more feet in h eight in early times and it is reported that some of them were surmounted with the remains of a stockade much less than fifty years ago.

A small section of the largest 250 foot henge can be seen on the north side of the drive leading up to the site.

Most of the largest mound with a fiddle back ditch and earthwork surrounding it  has been destroyed by Ball State archaeologists.  It measured 215 feet, which is significant because the fiddle shaped earthwork at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana is also 215 feet, as is the large mound surrounded by an earthwork Marietta, Ohio.
   Even more astounding, without getting to deep in to the numerology and sacred measurements of the Adena Hopewell is that 215 was also used to make some of the largest earthworks in the Ohio Valley.
There were six of these earthworks constructed around Chillicothe, Ohio that consisted of a square 1080 feet per side (see Randolph county for their earthwork measuring 1080), a circle 800 feet in diameter and the large circle that was 1720 feet in diameter or 215 X 8 =1720!

This is part of the outer wall of one of the henges that are in the woods, south of the drive.
This is a photo of the equinox sunset looking from the fidleback mound west towards the henge and mound to the west, where they are in perfect alignment.  The sun falls in to visible notch in the distant hill.
This what the fiddleback mound looked just a few years ago, its outer earthwork with interior ditch visible in the photo.  It marked the equinox sunrise and sunset for 2000 years before being nearly destroyed by Ball State archaeologist. 
This is a photo of Ball State archaeologist destroying one of Indiana's and America's finest antiquities. Dark spots near the bottom are from cremations.  The Ball State archaeologist is shoveling the cremated remains of the Hopewell Sioux in to a wheel barrow where they will be taken to a sifter in search of artifacts. No effort was made by Ball State archaeologists to restore the mound and they make frequent trips to New Castle, slowly eradicating this historical treasure.  Oh yes, what did the archaeologist find? A piece of pottery with a zig opposed to a zag, and he declared it "The New Castle Phase." Somehow implying that is different than Mounds State Park,  You saw measurements, and so you know more than this clown, and didn't have to destroy anything.
     One of these old forts is on the premises and nearly in front of the residence of Mr. Joseph Dorrah, about one and a half miles north of New Castle, the New Castle and Northern Pike cutting it in two. There are two stumps in it, the remains of trees, probably more than one hundred and fifth years old. There are also similar relics in other portions of the county, all speaking to us of the trials, hardships and struggles of a race whose extinction seems near at hand. The hand of the “pale face” seems ever against them, even the sacred precincts of their burial grounds are invaded and their bones are not suffered to rest in peace.

     In constructing railroads and turnpikes their crumbling skeletons have been exhumed by scores and scattered to the four winds.

Historic Henry County, 1820-1849,Vol I. 
     Another Adena enclosure still remains in the city of New Castle. This is found at the west edge of Baker Park on S. Main St., immediately east of the Chrysler High School. Although its original use is problematical it is generally considered this type of enclosure was of ceremonial usage. It is an excellent example of the work of the Adena Culture although not as large as similar mounds found in the Mounds State Pak in Anderson. New Castle and Henry County residents will do well to see that these works of the earliest residents are preserved for future generations.
SSmall henge, similar to the henges in the woods and between the two burial mounds.  It ia aligned to the winter solstice sunrise.(?)

Indiana Geological Survey 1862:
      About seven or eight miles west of new Castle; a number of Indian skeletons were disinterred in constructing a turnpike; and about the same distance south of town some remarkable human bones and skeletons of giant size were dug out, with other relics, during the making of the road.

Artisans and Artifacts of Vanished Races, Theophilus Dickerson, 1915
This Isolated Monument of Nature at an Early Period Surrounded by Water-Two Roadways.
A few miles north of Kennerd, in Henry county, Indiana, is a remarkable mound that covers an area of five acres.
Unlike other mounds found in Indiana and other states, it is composed primarily of sand and gravel and covered by a forest of native trees of a century’s growth.
There is not another deposit of sand or gravel in six or eight miles. The surrounding country is plain.
This pile of sand and gravel, as stated in above, covers an area of five acres and is of cone shape. When first known by white men it had a well defined ditch around it, and two made roadways, wide enough for a wagon, one from the north and the other from the south.
Farmers and road builders that needed gravel and sand found these glacial screenings to come handy in the building of public highways and for a small price per cubic yard paid to the owner of land found it more convenient than going to Springport or Mount Summit, a distance of eight miles.
After opening this deposit to a depth of 12 feet from the top of mound they unearthed a human skeleton whose framework measured nearly eight feet in height.
His skull would fit over the head of a large man; his jaws being massive and teeth in a perfect state of preservation.
On the breast of this big chief was a saucer-shaped vessel of ivory, about six inches in diameter, containing 84 ivory beads, that must have been made from the tusk of a mastodon.
We tried the persuasion of money on the old farmer in order to secure the ivory specimens, but he was invincible. We had no desire to become the possessor of human bones.