Ohio History Journal

114 Ohio Arch

114       Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.




The actual results of archaeological explorations in Ohio and else-

where in this country are sufficient to arouse interest and curiosity in

the life and world of the lost and unrecorded people. But what the

newspapers say concerning these explorations surpasses the tales of

Arabian Nights or Baron Munchausen. For instance, concerning the

exhumations by Prof. W. C. Mills at Fort Ancient the past summer

(1908), a leading Ohio daily exploited the following:

"A remarkable stone, bearing what is thought to be the hiero-

glyphics of the mound builders, was found yesterday on the portion of

old Fort Ancient recently purchased by the state. Surveyors are busy

laying off plans of the new possessions preparatory to making excava-

tions and the stone was picked up. It is about the size of a man's hand

and is very dark, almost black. Upon the surface are small markings

resembling the Chinese picture writing. This is the first evidence of

a writing by the mound builders that has ever been found, it is claimed,

and an effort will be made to cypher out the meaning of the writing."

And another metropolitan journal went on-or better, went off-

to say:

"The entrance to what is thought to be a cave of large dimen-

sions has been discovered at Fort Ancient, the historic earthworks of

the Mound Builders in eastern Warren County. Workmen are clearing

away the underbrush from that section of the old fort recently pur-

chased by the state and slight excavations have brought to light some

new facts.

"At the base of the fort immediately within the Great Gateway,

while the workmen were about the base of a tree, a layer of stone was

struck.  Further excavations showed that it was at some pavement,

which had been covered with about eighteen inches of earth.

"This pavement leads to the base of the fort where a small open-

ing was found in the rock. The tearing away of earth and rock revealed

a larger opening, which seemed to lead into a cave of gigantic dimen-

sions. A torch was thrust in at the opening and the walls were seen

to gleam with great brilliance. A stone was thrown into the opening,

but could not be heard to fall. The mouth is only a foot in diameter

and the solid rock so surrounds it that the cave can not be entered with-

out extensive blasting."

These   are samples of the latest news received by the reporters

over wireless connections concerning the Mound Builders who are unable

to deny or disprove the statements.  Of course no such hieroglyphic

stone or cave was ever discovered because neither ever existed.