Friday, March 7, 2014

Your Daily Giant 4/11/2013


Today's Daily Giant is from the New York Times, August 10, 1891. It is a lengthy article about ancient city of Aztalan in Wisconsin. Aztalan is a large Woodland and Mississippian site that was occupied between about AD 800 and 1250; it was founded during the Late Woodland period and apparently colonized by Mississippian culture in AD 1060, when platform mounds and fortifications were added. Although the relationship is not well-understood as of yet, Aztalan is believed to have been intimately connected to the enormous Mississippian urban center of Cahokia, approximately 310 miles to the south, along the Mississippi river and its tributaries. Some things mentioned in the article were a large-sized skeleton being unearthed, at the side of the body was found a curiously carved pipe, in the shape of a human head with peculiar characters cut on the sides. Near the right hand was an axe of banded slate in the form of an ancient double edged battle axe. We also read, that another skeleton was unearthed of a person who must have been a giant in his day. Beneath the hand was an axe, finished with great skill and very nicely polished and grooved, which weighed five pounds. Many implements of copper, consisting of beads, disks, spears, arrows and axes, are found. Some of these appear to have been cast, others are hammered into shape and contain nuggets of silver imbedded in the sides. All are tempered by some unknown process. The author of the article ends it with a moment of sobering reflection. "While scientific men have long been aware of the existence of these wonderful works, nothing has been done in the way of obtaining an accurate description or of obtaining a better knowledge of them. Every year the plow is laying them low and persons ignorant of their value in the eyes of science are destroying not only the mounds themselves but also the relics contained in them and in a few years they will have disappeared entirely."

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