Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Mound Builders

Mound Builders, a term applied to the unknown race or races who raised the numerous tumuli, forts, and other structures scattered over the Mississippi basin and other parts of the United States, but especially numerous in the southern parts of Ohio. Here Moorehead recognises two distinct mound-building races, the old long-headed and -the later intruding and conquering roundheaded, besides traces of a still earlier palaeolithic people near Cincinnati, possibly contemporaries of the mastodon, megatherium, mylodon, and huge extinct bears and jaguars. The chief seat of the long-heads was the Muskingum Valley from Marietta upwards to East Ohio, where the mounds, differing in type from those of the round-heads, have yielded pottery, articles of slate, hematite, copper bracelets, and other ornaments, some well made but generally inferior to those of the roundheads. This race had their chief centre in the Madisonville district at the head of the Ohio river, where have been found superior copper, horn, flint, stone, bone, and shell objects in great number. Some 24 miles to the north-east are the earthworks of Fort Ancient, the largest in Ohio, nearly a mile long and with over ten miles of artificial work. Chillicothe, on the Scioto river, is still the centre of the most interesting round-head remains, such as the Hopewell group, the Hopeton works, the Mound City, and. other sites of pre-Shawnee settlements, yielding potteries of artistic designs and elaborate workmanship, finely-chipped flints, copper objects, etc. Moorehead concludes that none of the mound-building races attained more than a high state of savagery, that they were skilled in several arts, but excelled in none, not even semi-civilised, much less possessors of the "lost civilisation" with which they have been credited. The best authorities, in fact, now regard them, not as a distinct race, but merely as the precursors or ancestors of the present aborigines. (W. K. Moorehead, Primitive Man in Ohio, Boston, 1892.)