Ohio History Journal

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3

142 Ohio Arch

142      Ohio Arch. and Hist. Society Publications.




The following from The Columbus Evening Dispatch of

September 2, 1919, is believed to be the last editorial contribution

from Mr. Randall to that paper. It may be considered his final

word on a subject to which he had given much thought and on

which he had frequently written:



The remarkable discoveries, recently unearthed by the ex-

ploring department of the Ohio State Archaeological and Histor-

ical Society, in the Hazlett mound, Licking county, revives the

unsolved query, Who were the people that erected these myster-

ious earthen structures ? They must have been a populous and vig-

orous race, for their forts, walled enclosures and isolated mounds,

no less than half a century ago in Ohio, if placed in a single

straight line would have reached from Cincinnati to Cleveland.

With no mechanical means of assistance, these numerous artificial

earthen and stone productions must have required the population,

if sparse, a very long period of time for completion of the works,

or a countless number of people must have simultaneously occu-

pied the territory and engaged in the work.

More than ever the problem arises, Who were they? It sur-

passes the riddle of the Sphinx. The Mound Builders, so-called

for want of a better name, had no written language and left no

inscriptions, hieroglyphics, symbols or records of any kind save

the earthen temples, graves, village sites and forts. The Ohio

Mound Builders seem to have belonged to the neolithic or later

stone age, giving evidence to some extent of representing the

mesolithic period - the twilight zone between the two - a tran-

sition age from pure stone articles to the most primitive use of

metal, for while no iron implements are found, some beaten cop-

per ornaments and utensils are discovered.

Until a generation ago the general opinion of the archaeolo-

gists was that these peculiar workmen were a distinct and sepa-

rate race from the American Indian and that the skilful and in-

genious architects of these earthen structures inhabited the coun-

try previous to the red men, or at their coming, and perhaps were