A Tradition of Giants and Ancient North American Warfare, Page 4
Certainly there was more curiosity than hysteria among the early settlers however, leading to the conclusion of there being less of a competitive spirit to prove the existence of a lost and superior race. Besides, a fortunate number of mounds were left untouched, possibly because they seemed less interesting, but perhaps through wise foresight. The accounts all seem quite honest and matter-of-fact, some writers not bothering to report the exact lengths of skeletal remains (were it possible). Convinced perhaps that the giant race was a well-established aspect of prehistory for the region, the post Revolutionary War people took it for granted that the larger stature was commonplace enough to take the bones in stride. Only a few scholarly measures were taken toward the preservation of sites and contents, reflecting such an attitude.
Consequently, and because of the rigorous standards of the later academics, the 19th century accounts and diaries have never been considered part of the professional criterion. In any event, the larger and more interesting shaped mound structures were the first to be excavated, leaving the rest for the analysis of the professionals.
In Muskingum County's Brush Creek Township, in a document dated March 3, 1880, a mound located on the farm of J.M. Baughman was measured 64 feet in width, 90 feet in length and 11feet, 3 inches in height. It was flat on top, an unusual condition for a mound. The mound achieved its odd shape possibly because of the stone altar, owning similar dimensions, found within. The structure was located on the summit of a hill, 152 feet above the Brush Creek. In it were discovered the bones of men and women, buried in couples-the length of their skeletons exceeding eight and even nine feet. The excavation was started in early December, 1870. There was another "dig" included as well. This reflected an attitude toward the then-existing archaeologists, whom these people apparently held in low regard.
At the bottom of the three-page account, the signature of six citizens was affixed in an affidavit verifying the truth, correctness, and non-deviation from the facts. It is quite possible that these people reported on something a bit rarer than ever expected. The mounded structure was possibly Archaic Allegheny. If a tradition of giants existed among these ancient people, surely a firm genetic base in people of more than seven feet in height would occasionally produce even taller members.
Needless to say, it is for reasons as the described indifference between the property owners and the archaeologists that discoveries of the remains of giant human beings in North America are questionable to seated academics. This may be especially true currently among those who have never engaged in a more thoughtful reading of the exponents of Adena analysis, especially the summations of Dragoo. The scientific community today has its own tradition fraught with skepticism, academic disapproval, and outright dismissal of the old citizenry's accounts. A part of the problem may be wrapped up in the politics and policies of the anthropological and archaeological communities. Credibility is always a point of vital interest. Few who bear degrees and use their letters as levers in their theories will step off the beaten path into "alternative" areas of research.
Nevertheless, gigantic stature among men and women has been known since the beginnings of recorded history, the Bible's Genesis itself relating of giants. They're referred to as "sons of God," and "men of renown." This seems to echo the words of Schoolcraft referring to the Allegewi as "a strong and mighty people, capable of great exertions and doing wonders." The Greeks have extensive mythological accounts of such people owning a grand stature as well. They were often held as a reclusive race, perhaps for self-preservation whose lineage went back to a time of great antiquity, perhaps prior to the last Ice Age.
The odd thing about large men, however, is that in ancient times of warfare, they were the ones selected first-often the "champions" of kings. This practice of taking the big men first is believed to have systematically depleted the gene pool among the older European, Asian, and Middle Eastern stocks, reducing the average height of modern man to something less than it could possibly have been. David slew Goliath, and it was part of a pattern. Could this have been the fate of the Allegewi big men in defense of their homeland against the Lenape-Mengwe?
Heckewelder indeed said that there was a tradition that there were giants among the Allegewi. Tradition is consciously passed down from time to time, generation to generation. Is it coincidence that there was an apparent tradition of giants among the Adena? If one were to conspire to weave legend with archaeology, there are a number of coincidences possibly equating the early Adena with the ancient Allegewi, indirectly at least. The Lenni Lenape seem to be intimately involved, for it is from them that we have the story.
Weaving Legend and Science
Did the Adena simply wander into the Ohio Valley or were they already here, genetically at least, in the form of a race with very dominant genetic traits? Did a severely compromised Archaic Lenape interbreed with the remaining Allegheny inhabitants of the region, in effect continuing the strong characteristic breed of the former Allegewi race, giving rise to the Adena? Were some of the disinterred giant humans representative of actual Allegewi?
It is tempting, in other words, to demonstrate a philosophical matching between transmitted history and hard facts, creating a sort of weave to hold them together. Like the making of a belt of wampum, such a weave may have a practical as well as ornamental purpose.
To start, here are a few additional accounts of giant skeletons found in the 19th century, both in and out of the state of Ohio. This first refers the general character of the human remains found in Logan County, Illinois:
Similarly this next one from Vermillion Township, Erie County, Ohio:
There are many more such-like accounts, and all will be published in a book with a title similar to this article.
The loss of that many men may very well have inhibited their ability to reestablish a new and thriving generation quickly, and so perhaps the surviving members of the Allegewi, taking the Lenape as their new masters, shared not only their lands, but themselves as well. This might help to explain the strong physical type of those later Adena found preserved in mounds, if the Adena also developed a ceremonial system of selective breeding, even as the Alleghans were supposed to have done. In this, the stronger, more dominant Allegewi gene type may have survived the annihilation of the Allegewi themselves, becoming the children of their conquerors.