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jaw, skull, and sometimes a few other bones, by reason of their peculiar solidity, resist the effects of contact with the air. From the fact of the finding human remains in them many have inferred that they were erected as burial places for the dead. In some of them, however, which have been examined, no human remains have been discovered, but pieces of pottery, stone hatchets, and other relics, are found in nearly all.
Many of these mounds are composed of earth of a different quality from that which is found in their immediate vicinity. This circumstance would seem to indicate that the earth of which they were composed was transported some distance. A striking instance of this difference of composition was first noticed some sixty or seventy years ago, in a mound at Franklinton, near the main fork of the Scioto river. This mound was composed altogether of clay, and the brick for the court-house in that town were made of it at that time. In it were likewise found a much greater number of huinan bones than is usually found in mounds of its size. The characteristies mentioned in connection with the mounds in Ohio apply to those generally throughout the Northwest.
Not so numerous as the mounds, but more remarkable as involving the principles of science, especially mathematics, are the fortifications, or earth walis, found in many places. They are commonly supposed to have been forts, or military fortifications. They generally consist of a circular wall, composed of earth, and usually as steep on the sides as the dirt could con veniently be made to lie. Sometimes, though rarely, their form is elliptical, or oval, and a few of them are quadrangular or square. In height they are various; some of them are so low as to be scarcely perceptible; some from twenty to thirty feet in height, while others again are of an intermediate elevation. The wall of the same fort, however, is pretty uniformly of the same height all around. They are likewise equally various in the contents of the ground which they enclose, some containing but a few square rods of ground, while others contain nearly one hundred acres. The number of their entrances, or gateways, varies in different forts from one to eight or more, in proportion to the magnitude of the enclosure. The walls are mostly single, but in some instances these works have been found to consist of two parallel walls, adjacent to each other. The forts are generally located on comparatively elevated ground, adjoining a river or stream of water. Their situation is usually such as a skillful military engineer or tactician would have selected for military positions. This fact would seem to strengthen the theory that they were designed and constructed for fortifications.
The city of Circleville, Ohio, is located on the site of one of the most remarkable of these fortifications, and from this circumstance takes its name. There are, or were, indeed, two forts at that place, one circular, and the other square, as represented in the diagram on the opposite page.
In this, it will be seen that a square fort adjoins a circular one on the east, communicating with it by a gateway. The black points in the square fort, opposite the gateways, show the location of mounds, each about three feet high. The circular fort consists of two parallel walls, whose tops are, apparently, about three rods apart, the inner circle being forty-seven rods in diameter. Between these two walls is a fosse, excavated sufficiently deep and broad to have afforded earth enough for the construction of the exterior wall alone, and no more. From this circumstance and others, the earth for the construction of the inner wall is supposed to have been transported from a distance. The inner wall is composed of clay, and the outer one of dirt
and gravel of similar quality with that which composes the neighboring ground, which is another circumstance quite conclusive of the correctness of the conjecture that the material for the inner wall was brought from a distance. There is but one original opening, or passage, into the circular fort, and that is on the east side, connecting it with the square one. latter has seven avenues leading into it, exclusive of the one which connects with the circle. There is one at every corner, and one on each side equi-distant from the angular openings. These avenues are each twelve feet wide, and the walls on either hand rise immediately to their usual height, which is above twenty feet. When the town of Circleville was originally laid out, the trees growing upon the walls of these fortifications and the mounds enclosed in the square one, were apparently of equal size and age, and those lying down in equal stages of decay, with those in the surrounding forest, a circumstance proving the great antiquity of these stupendous remains of former labor and ingenuity. Of course, the progress of modern civilization in the building of a city over these ancient remains, has long since nearly obliterated many of their parts. The above is a description of them as they appeared sixty years ago, whien Circleville was a mere village, and before the hand of modern vandalism had marred or obliterated any of the parts. A somewhat minute description of these ancient remains is given, not because they are more remarkable than many others found in different parts of the Northwest, but as an example to show the magnitude of many similar works. Among others in the same State may be mentioned a remarkable mound near Marietta, which is enclosed by a wall embracing an area 230 feet long by 215 wide. This mound is thirty feet high and elliptical in form. This mound, with the wall enclosing it, stand apart from two other irregular enclosures, one containing fifty and the other twenty-seven acres. Within the larger of these two enclosures there are four truncated pyramids, three of which have graded passage ways to their summits. The largest pyramid is 188 feet long by 132 feet wide, and is ten feet high. From the southern wall of this enclosure there is a graded passage way 150 feet broad, extending 600 feet to the immediate valley of the Muskingum river. This passage way is guarded by embankments on either side from eight to ten feet high. In the smaller square there are no pyramidal structures, but fronting each gate-way there is a circular mound. The walls of these several enclosures are from twenty to thirty feet broad at the base, and from five to six feet high. Besides these, many similar embankments may be traced in the same vicinity.
Squier and Davis, authors of that most elaborate work, entitled "The Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley", estimated that there were in Ross county, Ohio, at least one hundred enclosures and five hundred mounds. They give the probable number in that State at from one thousand to fifteen hundred enclosures, and ten thousand mounds. These estimates are quite likely to be far below the actual number, as their investigations were made many years ago, when large portions of the State were yet covered with forests, and before any general interest had been awakened on the subject of which they treated. Among the remarkable fortifications in Ross county is one at Cedar Bank, on the east side of the Scioto river, about five miles north of Chillicothe. It is of a square form, enclosing an area of thirtytwo acres. The west side of this enclosure is formed by the high bluff bordering the river at this point. There are two gate-ways opposite each other, one on the north and the other on the south side. Inside of the enclosure,