Ohio History Journal

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An ancient and unknown race of people possessing a well-

developed type of civilization, once inhabited the valleys of the

Ohio and Mississippi. This race has left no written history,

but the testimony of its existence and advancement in the arts

and sciences is attested in the stupendous structures, consisting

of mounds, walled enclosures and domestic implements, which

have long attracted the attention of observers, scientists and the

public generally.

The origin of this race, known as the Mound-Builders, is

still an unsolved problem. The evidences of its origin have

either been obliterated, or else so carefully concealed as to es-

cape the closest scrutiny. The ethnologist has been intensely

interested as to the type of mankind that constructed the re-

mains. Many are the theories that have been propounded; but

certain testimonies exist which enable us to arrive at plausible

conclusions. It may be considered that the first and most im-

portant step in this consideration has been definitely settled.

It was in the year 1833 that Dr. Samuel George Morton

published his monumental work, "Crania Americana," in which

he identified the crania of the Mound-Builders with that of the

American family. Adopting the classification as given by Buf-

fon, the American family is characterized by "a brown complex-

ion, long, black, lank hair, and deficient beard. The eyes are

black and deep-set, the brow low, the cheek bones high, the

nose large and the lips turned and compressed. The skull is

small, wide between the parietal protuberances, prominent at the

vertex, and flat on the occiput." This family is divided into

two grand classes, the American family and the Toltecan family.

Morton's investigations rested upon the crania. It is possible

that Morton did not have before him a sufficient number of un-

questionable Mound crania. However, his results do not rest

upon inconclusive evidence. Take the skull found near Chilli-