Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Fredrick County, Skeletons of Gigantic Size

Giant Indians.

Giant Indians OF BYGONE DAYS


There has just been received at the Maryland Academy of Sciences the skeleton of an Indian, seven feet tall. It was discovered near Antietam a few 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 those skeletons belonged to individuals evidently of gigantic size. The vertebrae and bones of the legs 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 background of the tribes of Indians, the Catawbas and the Datawares. Tradition has handed down the statement that between the years 1730 and 1736 the Catawbas took over a band of Delawares at the mouth of the Antietam, and in the little 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 that point, although numerous spear and arrowheads have been taken from the soil there.

It is of great interest, however, to note 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 six and a half to seven feet in height. The bones of these were buried, like those of prehistoric tribes, in other parts 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 with clay. In the grave was also placed pottery, a tomahawk, and the other weapons belonging to the Indians. No stone marked the grave, and no beads or wampum were buried with the skeleton. But over all the earth was heaped up into a small oblong mould, along which other similar mounds extending for many feet. The overflow of a neighboring river at this point had almost destroyed the burial area, so that only three of those small elevations were recognizable at the time of excavation.

1. -Baltimore American.
 The Riverine Herald (Echuca, Vic. Moama, NSW 1869 – 1954 1998 – 2002) Fri 28 Jan 1898 Page 4 Giant Indians.
2. The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 – 1954) Tue 25 Jan 1898 Page 4 GIANT INDIANS​​

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