Greater Ancestors

World Museum

Giants from Iowa Mounds


The most remarkable assemblage of prehistoric mounds in the United States,

both for number and size, is the famous Cahokia group, opposite St. Louis, in Illinois. Many such tumuli contain thousands of skulls, showing that they were used for burial purposes. In an Iowa mound, a skeleton of a giant who must have been six inches over seven feet in height was found. Around his neck was a collar of bears’ teeth. A skull from a mound in Alabama was entirely filled with small snail shells. The puzzle is to imagine why. In another mound, the government experts came across a large central chamber, in which were 11 skeletons, arranged in a circle with their backs against the walls, while in their midst was a great sea shell which had been converted into a drinking cup.

A farmer in Bollinger county, Mo., while plowing over a mound, struck a stone coffin containing a skeleton and a gourd-shaped vessel filled with lead ore so pure that he turned it into bullets. It was not uncommon for the builders of such tumuli to inter their dead in coffins of the kind cysts, that is to say, walled with slabs of stone. Some of the mounds hold caches filled with flint, evidently many centuries old. In one near a human skeleton was found a necklace of teeth and a disc of black flint with many perforations. Its use is a mystery, but probably it had some magical significance, and belonged to a prehistoric medicine man. The famous Hope mound, in Florida, yielded copper breastplates set with pearls; and in other mounds in the same state, the excavators came across copper snakes of highly artistic workmanship.

According to a plethora of historical accounts, there were indeed such people, commonly referred to as giants. These accounts range from newspaper articles and scientific journals to personal diaries and letters, and span from the 19th century to the early 20th century. They describe human skeletons ranging from 6 feet 4 inches to a staggering 14 feet tall, often found in burial mounds and caves across the globe.

One such account comes from the El Paso Herald of December 14, 1912. The article describes the Cahokia group of prehistoric mounds in Illinois, which contain thousands of skulls and were used for burial purposes. In one Iowa mound, a skeleton of a giant who was over 7 feet 6 inches tall was found, with a collar of bears’ teeth around his neck. In another mound, government experts found a large central chamber with 11 skeletons arranged in a circle, with their backs against the walls, and a great sea shell converted into a drinking cup in their midst. Other accounts describe giant skeletons found in Arizona, California, Kentucky, New York, Ohio, and other states, as well as in countries such as England, France, Italy, and Peru.

The question is, what do they tell us about the existence of giants? The reports are based on actual discoveries of ancient human beings who were unusually tall due to genetic factors. 

Regardless of the interpretation, it is clear that the reports of giant skeletons raise intriguing questions about the nature and history of humanity. They challenge our assumptions about the limits and diversity of the human body, and invite us to explore the mysteries and wonders of the past. While some of the reports may be exaggerated or erroneous, others may be based on actual evidence that deserves further investigation and analysis. As Sherlock Holmes once said, “When you have eliminated all which is impossible, then whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.”

  1. El Paso herald., December 14, 1912, Week-End Edition, Section A, Page 4-A, Image 20
    About El Paso herald. (El Paso, Tex.) 1901-1931