Greater Ancestors

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Santa Cruz County – Over Eight Feet Tall


Over Eight Feet Tall

That the Indians also carried mussels back to the hills is proved by the abundance of shells in the ground, and every little cave has its complement, as if they had used them for ovens. Shell fragments in caves seem to have been burned, and the cave walls are discolored by fires. About four miles above this mound are two more. One is so old that the shells have mostly decayed; this one is situated on a bluff near the edge of the ocean The other one seems to be more extensive and was discovered by accident. About ten years ago they were grading down the road which runs through here and a skeleton was discovered in a
shell mound; a little deeper, more were uncovered, about thirty-five in all. They were badly decayed and many dropped to pieces when exposed. I have a skull in my possession from this group which is in first-class condition; it has a very low, receding forehead and the teeth are much worn. These skeletons seemed to have been buried right in the shell mound, which is now covered by about two feet of soil. I dug in several places in the immediate vicinity and always struck shell at from eighteen inches to two feet deep. The shell layer seemed to spread evenly over a large space and was about two feet deep. I found no stone artifacts and only a few bones of what seemed to be a dog or wolf The skeletons when found had a few shell beads buried with them but nothing else. About a mile from this spot, while excavating for a railroad, it is reported, the skeletons of four giants were discovered, buried in a sitting position with their faces to the west. I have never been able to verify this report, except I saw one of the skulls in the possession of a man liv. ing in Santa Cruz, and it is truly a giant, being fully twice as large as

any skull I have ever seen and it is a pity that the whole skeleton, which
was said to be over eight feet tall, was not preserved.

  1. The Archaeological Bulletin

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