Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Antietam, 7 foot skeletons

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DiscoveiTr of Prehistoric Men
Seven Feet Tall.
There has just been received at the
Maryland Academy of Sciences the
skeleton of an Indian seven feet tall.
It was discovered near Antietam ten
days ago. There are now skeletons of
three powerful Indians at the academy
who at one time in their wildness
roamed over the State of Maryland
armed with such instruments as nature
gave them, or that their limited skill
taught them to make. Two of these
skeletons belonged to individuals evidently
of gigantic size. The vertebrae
and bones of the leg’s are nearly as
thick as those of a horse, and the length
of the long bones exceptional. The
skulls are of fine proportions, ample,
and with walls of moderate thickness,
but of great strength, and stiffened behind
by a powerful occipital ridge.
The curves of the forehead are moderate
and not retreating, suggesting
intelligence, and connected with jaws
of moderate development.
The locality from which these skeletons
came is in Frederick County, near
Antietam Creek. It was formerly supposed
to have been the battle-ground
of two tribes of Indians, the Catawbas
and the Delawares. Tradition has
handed down the statement that between
the years 1700 and 17oG the
Catawbas overtook a band of Delawares
at the mouth of the Antietam,
and in the battle that ensued the Delawares
were completely annihilated. So
the tradition goes, but according to Dr.
Philip R. Uhler, President of the Maryland
Academy of Sciences and Provost
of the Peabody Institute, a careful examination
of this locality has failed
to establish evidences of a battle at |
this point, although numerous spear
and arrow heads have been taken from
the soil there.
It is of great interest, however, to
notice that the locality was, at’ an
earlier date?before the coming of the
white man?occupied as a village site
by Indians of great stature, some of
them sax and one-half feet in hight.
The bones of these were buried like
those of prehistoric tribes in other parts I
of the State. The manner of burial
was like this-: The flesh was cleaned
from the bones, some of which were
then charred. The small bones of the
face and neck were packed in the cavity
of the skull, and a round hole about
two and one-half feet wide was dug in
the ground, in which the skeleton was
buried and carefully packed with clay.
In the grave was also placed pottery, a
tomahawk, ami the other weapons belonging
to the Indians. No stone marked
the grave, and no beads or wampum
were buried with the skeleton. But
oaevrsemrsiamalllilloatbrhleomngeoaurmntdhosunwde,axsteanlhodeneadgpewdfhoiurcphmoiantnhtyo-: ‘j
feet. The overflows of a neighboring
river at this point had .almost destroyed
the burial area, so that only
three of these small elevations were
r?eBcaolgtinmizoarbele Aatmtehreicatnim. e of excavation.

  1. The record-union., December 18, 1897, Page 8, Image 8
  2. About The record-union. (Sacramento, Calif.) 1891-1903
  3. also see: The Salt Lake Herald., November 14, 1897.
  4. GIANT PREHISTORIC MEN. Indian Skeletons Seven Feet Tall Discovered in Maryland. 1897