Ohio History Journal

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[The following review of Mr. Fowke's volume appears in the Nation

of December 25, 1902. As it is the policy of the Nation to expose defects

wherever they exist and to speak well only of that which deserves high

praise, its general approval of Mr. Fowke's work is something upon which

he is to be congratulated.- E. 0. R.]

"Archaeological History of Ohio: The Mound Builders and

Later Indians. By Gerard Fowke. Published by the Ohio State

Archaeological and Historical Society. Columbus, 1902.

In Ohio are found the most remarkable of the works at-

tributed to those ancient Americans called the Mound Builders,

and here, too, is the field of much that is important and interest-

ing in our later aboriginal history. Probably more nonsense has

been written about the Mound Builders than any other people

that ever existed, the "Ten Lost Tribes of Israel" not excepted.

Fables of "a lost civilization" "geometrical instruments," "a com-

pact civil organization," "myriads of people," "magnificent cities,"

"an extensive empire," have been rolled from writer to writer,

increasing like a snowball as they progressed, until there are

many intelligent persons who believe that there dwelt in the

Ohio Valley an intellectual and civilized race vastly superior to

and totally different from our Red Indians. Hence it is gratify-

ing in the highest degree to have presented in the graphic and

attractive manner of the present work the facts as they exist,

and the conclusion to which they inevitably lead: "Nothing yet

discovered proves for any of the Mound Builders a higher intel-

lectual capacity than is or was, possessed by more than one well-

known tribe of American Indians.

To the demonstration of this thesis Mr. Fowke gives two-

thirds of his book analyzing, ridiculing and demolishing the

reckless statements of many a romancing predecessor, and estab-

lishing beyond cavil such points as these: To erect the works

required neither great skill, large numbers, nor long time. The

artifacts found in the mounds do not in any particular surpass

those picked up on the surface and known to be the work of the