Prehistoric Men Seven Feet Tall Who Lived in what is Maryland.
There has just been received at the Maryland Academy of Sciences the skeleton of an Indian seven feet tall. It was discovered near Antietam ten days ago. There are now skeletons of three powerful Indians at the academy who at one time in their wildness roamed over the State of Maryland armed with such instruments as nature gave them, or that their limited skill taught them to make.
Two of these skeletons belonged to individuals evidently of gigantic size. The vertebrae and bones of the leg’s are nearly as thick as those of a horse, and the length of the long bones exceptional. The skulls are of fine proportions, ample, and with walls of moderate thickness, but of great strength, and stiffened behind by a powerful occipital ridge. The curves of the forehead are moderate and not retreating, suggesting intelligence, and connected with jaws of moderate development.
The locality from which these skeletons came is in Frederick County, near Antietam Creek.
It was formerly supposed to have been th
e battle-ground of two tribes of Indians, the Catawbas and the Delawares. Tradition has handed down the statement that between the years 1700 and 17oG the Catawbas overtook a band of Delawares at the mouth of the Antietam, and in the battle that ensued the Delawares were completely annihilated.
So the tradition goes, but according to Dr. Philip R. Uhler, President of the Maryland Academy of Sciences and Provost of the Peabody Institute, a careful examination of this locality has failed to establish evidence of a battle at | this point, although numerous spear and arrowheads have been taken from the soil there.
It is of great interest, however, to notice that the locality was, at’ an earlier date—before the coming of the white man—occupied as a village site by Indians of great stature, some of them sax and one-half feet in height. The bones of these were buried like those of prehistoric tribes in other parts I of the State. The manner of burial was like this-:
The flesh was cleaned from the bones, some of which were then charred. The small bones of the face and neck were packed in the cavity of the skull, and a round hole about two and one-half feet wide was dug in the ground, in which the skeleton was buried and carefully packed with clay. In the grave was also placed pottery, a tomahawk, ami the other weapons belonging to the Indians. No stone marked the grave, and no beads or wampum were buried with the skeleton. But overall the earth was heaped up into j a small oblong mound, along which other similar mounds extended for many: feet. The overflows of a neighboring river at this point had .almost destroyed the burial area, so that only three of these small elevations were recognizable at the time of excavation.