Thursday, January 28, 2016

'Ancient Aliens' Exploring the Adena Civilization Mounds

I found the following article in the Charleston (WV) Gazette-Mail...which piqued my interest:

The mound at Shawnee Park, next to the clubhouse, is one of dozens built centuries ago by the Adena civilization.

The Indian burial mounds in Kanawha County have seen the full course of archaeological research. They have been documented, excavated and studied.

But to date, they’ve never been explored by a ground-penetrating radar camera.

The makers of “Ancient Aliens,” a television show on The History Channel, are planning to change that.

The show will be coming to Dunbar on Jan. 29 to explore the historic mound, sometimes known as the “Poorhouse mound,” in Shawnee Park.

Jeff Hutchinson, director of the Kanawha County Parks and Recreation Commission, and Dunbar Mayor Terry Greenlee are working to accommodate the show. They hope that it will bring some positive attention to the mounds.

“I’m hoping it’s more of a history thing than a mockery,” Greenlee said. “I guess we’ll find out.”

The show has a history of making dubious claims about historical events and artifacts. It is not known what claim, if any, they plan to make about the Dunbar mound.

But based on the name of the show and an idea of what it’s about, retired archaeologist Darla Spencer, who lives in Charleston, is wary.

“When they did the excavating in the 1880s they thought the Native Americans were not capable of this,” Spencer said. “To me, this is a step backward.”

Joe Candillo, who has a PhD in indigenous studies and is a member of the Pascua Yaqui tribe, agreed.

“This fantasy, this idea that aliens came to this planet and showed indigenous people how to construct mounds, it is far-fetched,” Candillo said.

Candillo said that there was a myth about the star people in his tribe and in many tribes of the southwest, but that the claim that aliens built the mounds is associated with the idea that Native Americans weren’t intelligent enough to construct them on their own.

The Shawnee Park mound was one of 50 earthen mounds in the Kanawha Valley and was built by people from the Adena culture. Only a few of those mounds still remain.

While there isn’t much known about the tribe’s religious thoughts or rituals, archaeologists believe that the people who were buried in the mounds were people of status.

“They obviously honored these people to go through so much trouble to preserve them,” Spencer said.

In the Shawnee Park mound, scientists from the Smithsonian found two skeletons facing each other in a sitting position. One of the skeletons was wearing two copper bracelets, and the other had a lance blade and celt, a kind of ax. Between them was a stone slab that had been burned. The skeletons were found 10 feet below the top of the mound.

Representatives from “Ancient Aliens” were not available for comment last week about why they were interested in the Shawnee Park mound. South Charleston Mayor Frank Mullens said his city has not been contacted by the show about the better-known Criel Mound there.

People from “Ancient Aliens” can look at the mound with their camera, but can’t excavate it. In order to excavate a burial mound, not only does one need permission from the state, but also from Native American groups.

And it is usually hard to get permission from Native Americans.

“It’s almost like cutting an embryo out of a mother’s womb,” Candillo said.

“You are always taught to respect and rely on the ancestors, and disturbing their bodies at rest is highly disrespectful.”

Archaeologist Bob Maslowski of Marshall University flatly dismissed any chance that aliens had anything to do with the mounds.

“No chance at all,” Maslowski said. “It’s cult archaeology. Some of that stuff has been officially dismissed and a lot of professional archaeologists don’t want to talk about it because it’s so out there.”

Some of the artifacts that were found in the Adena mounds indicate that the Kanawha Valley was included in trade routes with other tribes.

Spencer said it’s important to learn about the native people who once lived here and what they were capable of. She said that when she was in school, they were taught that Native Americans didn’t live here.

“I grew up thinking that no Indian people lived here and now we know differently,” Spencer said. “People deserve to know the rich history of the people who were here before the Europeans.”

Academia loves to make a hit on shows like 'Ancient Aliens'...let alone any non-conformist theory that doesn't align with their scientific dogma.

The Kanawha Valley has had it share of mysteries...let alone the phenomena associated with neighboring Mason County, ex. the Mothman, upright canine sightings (Dogman), Sheep Squatch, Bigfoot, UFOs, etc. This entire part of West Virginia is considered a 'hot spot' by many crypto researchers. The fact that 'Ancient Aliens' is investigating the local mounds may result in some interesting conclusions.

The 1914 West Virginia Geological Survey, contains a section of the Fifth Annual Report of the Smithsonian (1888, for years 1883-1884), written by Cyrus Thomas describing the only archaeological excavation of the mounds, conducted by Prof. Thomas and Col. P. W. Norris:

Mound 31 of this group seems to furnish a connecting link between the West Virginia and Ohio mounds. It is sharp in outline, has a steep slope, and is flattened on the top; is 318 feet in circumference at the base and about 25 feet high. It was opened by digging a shaft 10 feet in diameter from the center of the top to the base. After passing through the top layer of surface soil, some 2 feet thick, a layer of clay and ashes 1 foot thick was encountered. Here, near the center of the shaft, were two skeletons, lying horizontally, one immediately over the other, the upper and larger one with the face down and the lower one with face up. There were no indications of fire about them. Immediately over the heads were one celt and three lance-heads. At the depth of 13 feet and a little north of the center of the mound were two very large skeletons, in a sitting posture, with their extended legs interlocked to the knees. Their arms were extended and their hands slightly elevated, as if together holding up a sandstone mortar which was between their faces. This stone is somewhat hemispherical, about 2 feet in diameter across the top, which is hollowed in the shape of a shallow basin or mortar. It had been subjected to the action of fire until burned to a bright red. The cavity was filled with white ashes, containing small fragments of bones burned to cinders. Immediately over this, and of sufficient size to cover it, was a slab of bluish-gray limestone about 3 inches thick, which had small cup-shaped excavations on the under side. This bore no marks of fire. Near the hands of the eastern skeleton were a small hematite celt and a lance-head, and upon the left wrist of the other two copper bracelets. At the depth of 25 feet, and on the natural surface, was found what in an Ohio mound would have been designated an ‘Altar.’

19th and early 20th century newspapers often published stories of gigantic skeletons found throughout the country. The following report from Portsmouth, Ohio was run by the News Herald on January 3, 1895:

“Bridge carpenters on the N. & W. R. R. found a gigantic skeleton while excavating, three miles east of Portsmouth, a few days ago. The skeleton measured, 7 feet, 4 inches...”

In the 1880s, the Eastern Mound Division of the Smithsonian discovered a number of gigantic skeletons during their inexcusable destruction of historical North American sites. The 12th Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology documents numerous gigantic skeletons found by Smithsonian agents:

“Near the original surface (of the mound)… lying at full length upon its back, was one of the largest skeletons discovered by the Bureau agents, the length as proved by actual measurement being between 7 and 8 feet.”

“In the center (of mound 11), 3 feet below the surface, was a vault 8 feet long and 3 feet wide. In the bottom of this...lay a skeleton fully 7 feet long...”

“The length from the base of the skull to the bones of the toes was found to be 7 feet 3 inches. It is probable, therefore, that this individual when living was 7.5 feet high.”

Is 'Ancient Aliens' looking for giant beings associated with legends of the indigenous people? Are extraterrestrials a part of the Adena mounds lore? We'll just have to wait and see. Lon

Mound Builders

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