A Collection of Artifacts from Burial Mounds in Tennessee


62752. Grooved ax, 8 inches in length, 3½ in width, and about 1 in thickness; one side is quite flat, the other convex. The material is a banded schistose slate.
62758. A fine specimen of grooved ax, 7 inches in length, 4 in width, and 1½ in thickness. The groove is wide and shallow, and is bordered by two narrow ridges, which are in sharp relief all the way around. The material appears to be a greenish-gray diorite.
62759. A grooved ax, 6 inches long, 3½ inches wide, and 1 inch thick. This specimen is similar to the preceding, the groove being deeper on the lateral edges of the implement, and the upper end less prominent. It is made of a fine-grained gray sandstone.
62753. Fragment of a grooved ax, of gray slate. The groove is shallow and irregular.
62754. Celt of compact gray sandstone, somewhat chipped at the ends. It is 6½ inches in length by 2½ in width and 1½ in thickness. One face is flat, the other convex. The sides are nearly parallel. A transverse section would be sub rectangular.
62755. Fragment of celt, 3 inches in length by 2 in width and about 1½ in thickness. The material is a fine grained sandstone or a diorite.
62756. A long, slender celt, very carefully finished, 7 inches in length, 2 in width, and less than 1 in thickness. The material is a very compact gray slate. It has apparently been recently used as a scythe-stone by some harvester.
62757. Fragment of a small, narrow celt, both ends of which are lost. Material, gray diorite.
62760. Heavy celt of gray diorite, 8 inches in length by 3 in width and 2½ in thickness.
62762. A pestle of gray diorite, with enlarged base and tapering top, 5½ inches in length and 3 inches in diameter at the base.
62751. A pestle of banded schistose slate, 15 inches in length, and 2½ inches in diameter in the middle, tapering symmetrically toward the ends, which terminate in rounded points.
62763. A ceremonial (?) stone resembling somewhat a small broad-bladed pick, the outline being nearly semicircular. It is pierced as a pick is pierced for the insertion of a handle. It is 2½ inches in length, 1½ in width, and three-fourths of an inch in thickness. The material is a soft greenish mottled serpentine, or serpentinoid limestone. Fig. 116.
stone implement, front   stone implement, side
Fig. 116.
62761. A pierced tablet of gray slate, 4½ inches long, 1½ inches wide, and half an inch thick. The two perforations are 2½ inches apart; they have been bored from opposite sides, and show no evidence of use. Nine notches have been cut in one end of the tablet. It has been much injured by recent use as a whetstone.
62764. Cup stone of rough sandstone, having seventeen shallow cup-like depressions, from 1 to 2 inches in diameter. The stone is of irregular outline, about 10 inches in diameter and 4 in thickness.
62765. A large pipe of gray steatite; the bowl is square and about 3 inches in length, by 1 in diameter. The stem end is 4 inches in length and three-fourths of an inch in diameter. The bowl has a deep, conical excavation. The same is true of the stem-end also.
62870. The mound from which these fragments were obtained was located 3 miles from Newport. It was 12 feet square and 6 feet high. The original height was probably much greater. The pottery was mixed with ashes and débris of what appeared to be three fire-places. No human remains were found. The fragments are not numerous, nor do they indicate a great variety in form. There is, however, considerable variety in decoration.
Material.—The clay is generally gray or dark-reddish gray in the mass, and is apparently quite siliceous or sandy, numerous grains of quartz being visible. There is generally a sprinkling of finely-powdered mica, but no shell matter can be detected. When much weathered the surface is quite gritty.
Form.—The leading form is a round-bodied, pot-shaped vase. There is one small hemispherical bowl. The outlines have been quite symmetrical. The mouths of the pots are wide, and the necks deeply constricted. The lip or rim exhibits a number of novel features. That of the larger specimen, of which a considerable segment remains, is furnished on the upper edge with a deep channel, nearly one-half an inch wide, and more than one-fourth of an inch deep. First section, Fig. 117. Others have a peculiar thickening of the rim, a sort of collar being added to the outside. This is about 1 inch in width, and is thicker below, giving a triangular section. Third section, Fig. 117.
earthen vessels
Fig. 117.
The walls of the vessels are usually quite thin. The bottoms were probably round, or nearly so. No fragments, however, of the lower parts of the vessels were collected. There is but one example of handle, and this presents no unusual features. Middle section, Fig. 117.
Ornamentation.—The ornamentation is in some respects novel. The double or channeled rim of the larger specimen, the mouth of which has been 13 or 14 inches in diameter, is embellished with a line of flutings, which seem to be the impressions of a hollow bone or reed. 441The whole exterior surface is embellished with a most elaborate ornamental design, which resembles the imprint of some woven fabric. If a woven fabric has not been used, a pliable stamp, producing the effect of a fabric, has been resorted to. The fact that the sharply concave portions of the neck are marked with as much regularity as the convex body of the vessel, precludes the idea of the use of a solid or non-elastic stamp.
The pattern consists of groups of parallel indented lines, arranged at right angles with one another, the puzzling feature being that there is no evidence of the passing of the threads or fillets over or under each other, such as would be seen if a woven fabric had been used. The outer surface of the triangular collar peculiar to many of the pots has been decorated with a herring-bone pattern, made by impressing a sharp implement. The handle in one case is similarly ornamented. This handle has been added after the figure previously described was impressed upon the neck of the vessel. One small fragment shows another style of indented or stamped pattern, which consists of series of straight and curved lines, such as are characteristic of many of the vessels obtained from the Gulf States.
A small fragment of coal-black ware is entirely smooth on the outside, and indicates an unusually well finished and symmetrical vessel. Another shows the impression of basket-work, in which a wide fillet or splint has served as the warp and a small twisted cord as the woof. One interesting feature of this vessel is that from certain impressions on the raised ridges we discover that the vessel has been taken from the net mold while still in a plastic state.
Still another reddish porous fragment has a square rim, which is ornamented with a series of annular indentations.


On the west fork of the Little Pigeon River, at Sevierville, on a rich bottom, 125 yards from the river, is a celebrated mound, the owners of which have for years refused to have it opened.
Mr. Palmer spent several days in trying to obtain permission to open it, and was about leaving in despair, when the owners finally yielded, not, however, without requiring a number of concessions on the part of the collector, which concessions were put in the form of a legal document.
This mound is 16 feet high and 240 feet in circumference.
Three feet below the surface, a stratum of burnt clay, 15 feet wide by 30 long, was reached. This has probably formed part of the roof of a dwelling.
Beneath this was a bed of charcoal 4 inches thick. In this bed remnants of cedar posts from 2 to 4 inches thick and 1 to 2 feet in length were found.
Below this was a stratum of ashes, covering a limited area to the depth of 4 feet. Surrounding this, the earth contained fragments of numerous articles used by the inhabitants, while beneath came 4½ feet of earth, in which numerous skeletons had been deposited.
The bodies had been interred without order, and the bones were so intermingled, and so far decayed, that no complete skeletons could be collected. Beneath the layer of bones came a second deposit of ashes, 2 feet thick by 2½ feet in diameter, and beneath this a mass of red clay, 18 inches in thickness. In the earth surrounding the ashes and clay, a number of skeletons were found; these were in such an advanced stage of decomposition that only a few fragments of skulls could be preserved.
Three feet below the second layer of bones, the undisturbed soil was reached.
Two boxes of bones were collected, the well-preserved crania numbering about twenty.
A great many interesting specimens of the implements, utensils, and ornaments of the mound-builders were obtained.
The following catalogue includes everything of interest:
62787, 62792, 62778, 62769, 62784, 62788. Numerous specimens of arrow-points, flakes, cores, and rough masses of gray and black chalcedony, obtained partly from the mound, and partly from the soil surrounding it.
62793. A somewhat conical object of black compact graphite. The 
 base is rubbed off in an irregular way, as if in grinding down for use as a pigment.
62790. Fragment of hammerstone of gray micaceous sandstone, 5 inches long by 3 inches in diameter. It was found associated with the upper layer of skeletons.
62808. Pipe carved from gray marble. The bowl is symmetrically shaped, and resembles a common clay pipe. It is about 1½ inches in height and 1 in diameter. The stem part is about one-fourth of an inch in length. Found with the upper layer of skeletons.
62786. A perforated stone tube, 1¼ inches long and three-fourths of an inch in diameter. It is probably the upper part of a pipe bowl.
62794. A large number of minute quartz pebbles, probably used in a rattle or in playing some game of chance. Found with the skeletons in the mound.
62798. Three glass beads, found 4 feet below the surface of the mound. One is a bright blue bead of translucent glass. One is opaque, resembling porcelain. The third is of blue-gray glass, and has three longitudinal stripes of brown, underlaid by bands of white. All are cylindrical in shape, and are from three-eighths to half an inch in length, and about one-fourth of an inch in diameter.
The collection of pottery from this mound is of much interest. There is but one entire vessel, but the fragments are so plentiful and well preserved that many interesting forms can be restored, and a very good idea of the ceramic work of this locality be formed.
Form.—I have spent much time in the examination of these fragments, and have assigned each to the form of vessel to which it belonged. Where large pieces are preserved, especially if the rim is included, we have little trouble in reconstructing the entire vessel, without fear of being seriously wrong. The lower parts of the bodies of all forms are round or slightly flattened, and but a small fragment of the rim is needed to tell whether the vessel was a bottle, pot, or bowl.
I find, however, that the forms merge into each other in such a way that a complete graduated series can be found. Of first importance, are the round or globular vases with more or less constricted necks.
Ornamentation.—The inside of all forms is plain with the exception of accidental markings of the fingers. The rim is square, sharp, or round on the edge, and sometimes slightly enlarged or beaded on the outer margin. A collar is attached to many forms, which at the lower edge overhangs. It is added to the body with the rim, or as a strip afterward 444attached. It is often notched or indented with a stick, bone, or reed, or with the fingers.
The necks of vases and pot-shaped vessels have a great variety of handles, knobs, and ornaments. Some of the latter seem to be atrophied handles. In some cases a low horizontal ridge, from 1 to 4 or more inches in length is placed near the rim, in place of the continuous collar. In other cases a narrow, crescent-shaped ridge is attached, the points reaching down on the shoulder, the arch lying upon the neck. Still others have one or more handles which connect the rim with the neck or shoulder of the vessel, leaving a round or oblong passage for a cord or vine.
These handles were added after the vessel was completed. They are never ornamented. In one case an arched handle, like the handle of a basket, connects the opposite sides of the rim. This is the only entire vessel recovered from the mound. It was associated with the upper layer of skeletons. Diameter 4½ inches. Fig. 118.
earthen vessel
Fig. 118.
The body of these vessels is sometimes quite plain, but is more frequently covered with cord markings. These, with one or two exceptions, seem to be made by a series of fine cords, approximately parallel, but without cross-threads of any kind. There is little uniformity of arrangement. In the upper part, and about the base of the neck, the indented lines are generally vertical. On the bottom they are quite irregular, as if the vessel, in making, had been rolled about on a piece of netting or coarse cloth. The cords have been about the size of the ordinary cotton cord used by merchants. One exception is seen in a fragment of a large, rudely-made vase, in which we have the impression of a fabric, 445the warp of which, whether wood or cord, has consisted of fillets more than one-fourth of an inch in width, the woof being fine cord.
This is what is frequently spoken of as the ear-of-corn impression. No incised or excavated lines have been noticed in these fragments of pot-shaped vessels. Some of the most elegant vessels are without upright necks. The upper or incurved surface of the body is approximately flat, forming, with the lower part of the body a more or less sharp peripheral angle. The base is rounded, and, so far as we can judge from the examples, the bottom is slightly flattened. Vessels having vertical or flaring rims are generally somewhat more shallow.
The incurved upper surface is often tastefully ornamented with patterns of incised or excavated lines which are arranged in groups, in vertical or oblique positions, or encircle the vessel parallel with the border. One specimen has a row of stamped circles, made by a reed or hollow bone.
Bowls of the ordinary shape are variously decorated. In one case we have on the outside of the rim, and projecting slightly above it, a rudely-modeled grotesque face. A notched fillet passes around the rim, near the lip, connecting with the sides of this head.
In another case a rude node is added to the rim. The only bowl having a flaring rim is without ornament.
We have only one fragment of a bowl in which the body has been marked with cords.
Composition.—The clay used in the pottery from this mound is generally fine in texture, and of a light-gray color. Many of the fragments have been blackened by burning subsequently to their original firing, and some may have been originally blackened with graphite. The prevailing colors seen in the fragments are yellowish and reddish grays. The percentage of powdered shell used in tempering has usually been very large, forming at times at least half the mass. The flakes of shell are very coarse, being often as much as one-fourth of an inch in diameter. In many cases they have been destroyed by burning, or have dropped out from decay, leaving a deeply pitted surface.
Pipes.—There are a number of pipes in the collection, most of which were found near the surface of the mound. In some cases they resemble modern forms very closely. The most striking example is made of a fine-grained clay, without visible admixture of tempering material. The color is a reddish gray. It is neatly and symmetrically formed, the surface being finished by polishing with a smooth, hard implement, and shaving with a knife. The bowl is 2 inches high, and the rim is bell-shaped above, with a smooth, flat lip, one-fourth of an inch wide. The diameter of the opening is nearly 2 inches. The base is conical. The stem part is one-half an inch long and one-half an inch in diameter. The bowl and stem are both conically excavated.
Another specimen is made of clay mixed with powdered shell. The bowl is cylindrical, being a little larger at the rim, which is ornamented 446with rows of punctures. The elbow is ornamented by a rosette of indented lines. The mouth piece has been broken away.
62797. One of the most instructive finds in this mound is a pair of brass pins, of undoubted European manufacture. The collector makes the statement, with entire confidence in its correctness, that they had been encased in the earth at the time of the interment of the bodies. One was associated with the upper and the other with the lower layer of bones. In size and shape they resemble our ordinary brass toilet pin. The head is formed of a spiral coil of wire, the diameter of which is about one-half that of the shaft of the pin. It is also stated by the collector that an iron bolt was found in the lower stratum of bones. This object was unfortunately lost.
62795. A small brass cylinder, found 3 feet 7 inches below the surface of the mound. The thin sheet of which the coil is made is about 1 inch square. The edges are uneven. It was probably used as a bead.
Few mounds have rivaled this in its wealth of shell ornaments. Engraved gorgets cut from the body of the Busycon perversum and large pins from the columellæ of the same shell are especially numerous and well-preserved. Large numbers of beads and unworked shells were also found. All were intimately associated with the skeletons.
While many of the specimens are well-preserved, we find that many are in an advanced stage of decay, and unless most carefully handled, crumble to powder.
Similar shell ornaments are found in mounds in other parts of Tennessee, as well as in neighboring States. These have been pretty fully described in the Second Annual Report.
shell ornamentshell ornament
Fig. 119. 62831Fig. 120. 62831
62830-62839. These pins are all made from the Busycon perversum. The entire specimens range from 3 to 6 inches in length; two are fragmentary, having lost their points by decay. The heads are from one-half to 1 inch in length, and are generally less than 1 inch in diameter. They are somewhat varied in shape, some being cylindrical, others being conical above. The shaft is pretty evenly rounded, but is seldom symmetrical or straight. It is rarely above one-half an inch in diameter, and tapers gradually to a more or less rounded point. The groove of the canal shows distinctly in all the heads, and may often be traced far down the shaft. In a number of cases the surface retains the fine polish of the newly finished object, but it is usually somewhat weathered, and frequently 447discolored or chalky. These specimens were found in the mounds along with deposits of human remains, and generally in close proximity to the head; this fact suggests their use as ornaments for the hair.
62840-62843. A number of saucer-shaped shell gorgets, the upper edge being somewhat straightened, the result of the natural limit of the body of the shell. Two small holes, for suspension occur near the upper margin. The diameter ranges from 3 to 6 inches.
In studying the design the attention is first attracted by an eye-like figure near the left border. This is formed of a series of concentric circles, and is partially inclosed by a looped band about one-eighth of an inch in width, which opens downward to the left. This band is occupied by a series of conical dots or depressions, the number of which varies in the different specimens. 448The part of the figure inclosed by this band represents the head and neck of the serpent. To the right of the eye we have the mouth, which is usually shown in profile, the upper jaw being turned upward exhibiting a double row of notches or teeth. The body encircles the head in a single coil, which appears from beneath the neck on the right, passes around the front of the head, and terminates at the back in a pointed tail armed with well-defined rattles. The spots and scales of the serpent are represented in a highly conventionalized manner.
shell ornamentshell ornament
Fig. 121.Fig. 122.
Shell gorgets with engraved designs representing the rattlesnake.
62841-62845. The handsome specimen given in Fig. 124 is in a very good state of preservation. It is a deep, somewhat oval plate, made from a Busycon perversum. The surface is nicely polished and the margins neatly beveled. The marginal zone is less than half an inch wide and contains at the upper edge two perforations, which have been considerably abraded by the cord of suspension. Four long curved slits or perforations almost sever the central design from the rim; the four 449narrow segments that remain are each ornamented with a single conical pit. The serpent is very neatly engraved and belongs to the chevroned variety. The eye is large and the neck is ornamented with a single rectangular intaglio figure. The mouth is more than usually well defined. The upper jaw is turned abruptly backward and is ornamented with lines peculiar to this variety of the designs.
shell ornamentshell ornament
Fig. 123. (62841.)Fig. 124. (62845.)
Shell gorgets with engraved designs representing the rattlesnake.
The body of the serpent opposite the perforations for suspension is interrupted by a rather mysterious cross band, consisting of one broad and two narrow lines. As this is a feature common to many specimens, it probably had some important office or significance.
62847-62848. Mask-like shell ornaments. By a combination of engraving and sculpture a rude resemblance to the human features is produced. The objects are generally made from large pear-shaped 450sections of the lower whorl of marine univalves. The lower portion, which represents the neck and chin, is cut from the somewhat constricted part near the base of the shell, while the broad outline of the head reaches the first suture at the noded shoulder of the body whorl. The simplest form is shown in Fig. 125. A more elaborate form is given in Fig. 126.
shell ornamentshell ornament
Fig. 125. (62348.)Fig. 126. (62347.)
Mask-like objects of shell.
These objects are especially numerous in the mounds of Tennessee, but their range is quite wide, examples having been reported from Kentucky, Virginia, Illinois, Missouri, and Arkansas, and smaller ones of a somewhat different type from New York. In size they range from 2 to 10 inches in length, the width being considerably less. They are generally found associated with human remains in such a way 451as to suggest their use as ornaments for the head or neck. There are, however, no holes for suspension except those made to represent the eyes, and these, so far as I have observed, show no abrasion by a cord of suspension. Their shape suggests the idea that they may have been used as masks, after the manner of metal masks by some of the oriental nations.
shell ornament
Fig. 127.—Shell gorget with engraving of a curious human figure.
62846. Engraved shell, Fig. 127. This very interesting object has been fully described in the Second Annual Report of the Bureau. The figure is so obscure that considerable study is necessary in making it out.
62930. Engraved shell, Fig. 128. This remarkable specimen has already been described in the Second Annual Report of the Bureau. The engraved design is certainly of a very high order of merit, and suggests the work of the ancient Mexicans.
62816-62822, 62824, 62826, 62828, 62829. Shell beads discoidal and cylindrical in form, made chiefly from the columellæ and walls of marine univalves.
62825. Shell bead made by grinding off the apex of a large Oliva biplicata. (?)
62827. Beads made from Marginella (?) shells.
62825, 62827, 62850-62857, 62782. Species of shell found in the mound, some with the skeletons, others near the surface.
shell ornament
Fig. 128.—Shell gorget with engraved design representing two fighting figures.
The following genera and species are provisionally determined:
Unio multiplicatus.
Uhio ovatus.
Unio crassidens.
Unio victorum.
Marginella (?).
Oliva (?).
Io spinosa.
Trypanostoma anthonyi.
Anculosa subglobosa.
Busycon perversum.
62823. A tooth-shaped fresh-water pearl, found with the skeletons.
62861. Fragments of deer-horn found near the surface of the mound.
62858. An implement of unusual form, made from a flat piece of bone, found with the skeletons in the mound.
62859, 62860. Bone implements, needles and perforators, some of which are well preserved and retain the original polish; others are in a very advanced stage of decay.
Three boxes of human bones (not numbered).
62770. A small grooved ax, formed of a coarse textured stone, resembling diorite. It is 4½ inches in length and 2½ in width. The head is rounded and the cutting edge much battered. The groove is wide and shallow, and the bordering ridges prominent. The blade thins out quite abruptly. Presented by J. B. Emert.
62772. A celt 6¾ inches long, 2½ inches wide, and 1 inch thick. The material is a compact, blue-gray, banded slate. The sides are straight and a transverse section is somewhat rectangular. Both edges are sharpened, and are very neatly beveled and polished. Presented by W. P. Mitchell.
62771. A small celt of compact greenish slate; one face is flat, the other convex. It is neatly made and perfectly preserved, the broader end being oblique and sharp. It is 3-1/8 inches in length.
62777. A rude, much-battered celt of coarse sandstone or diorite. It is 4 inches in length by 2 in width near the cutting edge. The top is somewhat conical.
62774. A large unsymmetrical celt made of coarse yellowish sandstone; one side is much battered. The cutting edge is round and dull. It is 9 inches in length by 5 in width near the broad end and is 1½ inches thick.
62785. A knife-blade-shaped object, apparently a fragment of a winged ceremonial stone. The whole surface is smooth and shows no evidence of use. It is made of fine-grained gray slate. It is 2 inches in length by five-eighths in width.
62775. A bell-shaped pestle made of yellowish gray quartzite. The surface has been evenly roughened by picking, but has become slightly polished on parts most exposed when in use. The base part is subrectangular in section, and the bottom is slightly but evenly convex. The upper part, which has been shaped for convenient grasping by the hand, is evenly 454rounded at the top. Height, 4½ inches; width, of base, 3½ inches.
62766. A well-formed globe of gritty sandstone. The surface is roughened or granular. It is 2½ inches in diameter.
62789. Portion of an oblong hammer stone, 4 inches in length by 3 in diameter in the middle part. One end has been much reduced by use. It is made of some dark, much decomposed, crystalline rock.
stone implement
Fig. 129.
62768. Asymmetrical sandstone ring, 2 inches in diameter and three-fourths of an inch in thickness. The perforation is about five-eighths of an inch in diameter. The surface is roughened by picking.
62767. A symmetrical, neatly finished disk of light gray quartzite. It is 4¼ inches in diameter and 1¼ inches in thickness at the circumference, and less than 1 inch thick at the center.
62869. An hour-glass shaped tube made of gray hydro-mica schist, which resembles very compact steatite. It is 5½ inches long, 2 inches in diameter at the widest part and 1¼ inches at the narrowest part. The most restricted part near the middle is girdled by a ridge or ring, on the circumference of which seventy or eighty shallow notches have been cut.
The perforation is much enlarged at the ends, giving cup-like cavities. The walls are thin near the ends and quite thick near the middle, the passage being hardly more than one-quarter of an inch in diameter. The markings on the inside indicate that the excavation has been made by a gouging process, rather than by the use of a rotary perforator.
stone implement
Fig. 130.
62776. A boat-shaped ceremonial stone of banded slate, 3 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 1 inch deep. From the side the outline is triangular, the two lines of the keel forming almost a right angle. From the top the outline is a long, pointed oval, as seen in the illustration, Fig. 131.
stone implement
Fig. 131.
The trough-shaped excavation is more rounded in outline, and is three-fourths of an inch in depth. Perforations have been made near the ends of this trough; these seem to be somewhat abraded on the outside by a cord of suspension or attachment which has passed between them along a groove in the apex or angle of the keel.
stone implement
Fig. 132. 62868
62868. An amulet or charm of dark-greenish rock, probably a serpentine, carved to represent a bird's head. The more highly polished parts are quite dark, while freshly cut lines are whitish. The head is graphically represented, the bill, the eye, and nostril being well shown. A stand-like base takes the place of the body of the bird. Around this, near the bottom, a groove has been cut for the purpose of attaching a string or securing a handle. In dressing the surface some implement has been used that has left file-like scratches. Fig. 132 represents this object natural size.
62773. Fragment of a stone disk or wheel that has lines cut upon it resembling in arrangement the grooves of an ordinary millstone. Diameter, 6 inches; thickness, 2 inches. This is probably not an aboriginal work.
stone implement
Fig. 133. 63186
63186. A banner-stone of unusual shape, made of gray slate. The cut, Fig. 133, represents this object three-fourths natural size.
The perforation is one-half an inch in diameter, and is quite symmetrical. The entire surface is well polished.
A few specimens of potsherds were collected from the fields about Sevierville.
Most of these are identical in every way with the pottery of the mound, but three examples are of a totally different type. The material of these is a fine sandy clay, tempered with a large percentage of finely pulverized mica.
The forms of the vessels cannot be made out. The outer surfaces were ornamented by a stamped pattern of small square or lozenge-shaped figures, a number of these together were apparently formed by a single stamp.
Among the fragments we have half a dozen disks, from 1 to 2 inches in diameter, worked from ordinary potsherds. A small rudely modeled figure of a bird was also found with these fragments. There were also masses of indurated clay, which seem to have been used for chinking purposes.


This mound is situated three hundred and fifty yards from the French Broad River, on the farm of Mr. William Harris.
It is 10 feet high and nearly 50 feet in circumference. Its summit has been cultivated for many years, and the height has doubtless been much reduced. Immediately under the surface soil a heavy bed of ashes and charcoal was reached, which at the border of the mound was only a few inches thick, but at the center was about 3 feet thick.
In this stratum were found a few implements, and fragments of pottery, and two very much decayed skeletons. A part of one cranium was preserved. The mound beneath this stratum was composed chiefly of loam, with some sand in the center, and contained nothing of interest.
62885. A needle-like implement, made of a soft black stone that may be cannel coal. It is 3½ inches in length, but is not entire. The shaft is a little more than one-fourth of an inch in diameter, is nearly round, and tapers to a symmetrical point. The surface is highly polished. It was found in the stratum of ashes.
62890, 62892-6. A considerable number of fragments of pottery was found in the stratum of ashes.
Form.—Vases of the wide-mouthed, round-bodied variety are represented, also a number of hemispherical bowls. One large fragment representing a vessel with rounded bottom was found.
Size.—The pot-like vases have been quite large, the mouths being as much as 14 inches in diameter. The larger bowls have been 10 inches or more in diameter. Others are smaller. The walls of some of the larger vessels have been half an inch in thickness.
Material.—Classified by material, there are two varieties, one is composed of the usual clay and pulverized shells, the latter being coarse and exceedingly plentiful; the other has no shell material, but in its place an admixture of sand and small quartz pebbles.
458Ornamentation.—The inside is plain as usual, and many of the fragments have no exterior ornament. There are two varieties of surface markings; one consists of impressions of basket work, which indicate a broad series of fillets bound together by small twisted cords of grass or bark; the other appears to have been made by an open net-work of fine cords, which have been quite irregularly arranged.
62898. A shell pin made from the columella of a large univalve. The original polish is still preserved. The head is round and small, and the shaft 2 inches in length. Found in the stratum of ashes.
62899. Two species of shells, Io spinosa and Pleurocera conradii (?), obtained from the stratum of ashes.
62883. A lot of arrow points, spear points, and knives, having a wide range of shape and size. A serrated specimen is 3 inches in length, and is made of yellowish striped chalcedony. One is made of white translucent quartz, and others of dark gray and black chalcedony.
62881. A stone disk, 1¼ inches in diameter and three-eighths of an inch thick. It is of gray sandstone, nicely smoothed. The edge is rounded and the sides slightly convex.
62882. Two stone disks similar to the preceding, but smaller.
62878. A small, thick, nearly symmetrical celt, 2½ inches in length, 1½ inches in width, and one-half of an inch thick. The edge is rounded in outline and well sharpened. The beveled areas are narrow and stand at an angle of 30° with each other. It is widest at the edge, tapering above to a conical point. The material is apparently a compact greenish diorite.
62877. A small celt similar to the preceding in form and material. It is 3¼ inches long, and 1¾ inches in width near the cutting edge, which is considerably battered.
62875. A curved celt of considerable interest, made of a greenish diorite. It is 8 inches in length, 2½ inches wide near the cutting edge, and about 1 inch thick. It tapers toward the apex to 1½ inches in width. A transverse section would be a sharp oval. A longitudinal section showing the thickness of the implement gives a bow-like figure, the median line of which would deflect nearly half an inch from a straight line.
62876. A celt, 3½ inches in length, of the usual form, made of a greenish diorite.
62874. A grooved ax of gray sandstone, 5 inches long, 3 inches wide, and 1 inch thick. The groove is deep and well rounded, and has two bordering ridges in high relief. The head is low and conical, and the blade narrow and rectangular. The surface has originally been quite smooth, but is now somewhat battered.
stone implement
Fig. 134. 62879
stone implement
Fig. 135. 62880
62871. A cylindrical pestle of gray diorite (?), 11 inches long and 2 inches in diameter. The general surface is rough, the points being smoothed by use.
62879. A perforated tablet, made of gray, chloritic schist, 2½ inches long by 1½ inches broad, illustrated in Fig. 134. The sides are notched in a way that gives a dumb-bell like outline. The ends are almost square. Series of notches have been cut in the terminal edges. On one of the lateral margins rude notches and zigzag lines have been engraved. In the middle of the plate there is a circular perforation one-fourth of an inch in diameter. Midway between this and the ends are two other perforations, one being circular and one-eighth of an inch in diameter, and the other lozenge or diamond shaped and nearly one-fourth of an inch in width. These show no evidence of wear. The surface is uneven, though somewhat polished. It has probably been used for straightening arrow shafts and shaping strings.
62880. Fragment of a perforated tablet carved from gray slate. It has been broken transversely near the middle, through a perforation which has been about one-eighth of an inch in diameter. The remnant is 2 inches in length and 1½ inches in width at the perforation. One side is plain, the other has a design of plain and zigzag lines. The edges are beveled and notched. See Fig. 135.
On the farm of Mr. M. Biss, three miles from Kingston, on the Tennessee River, a mound was opened which was so located as to overlook the river, and at the same time guard the approach from two pieces of projecting wood. It was 11 feet high, 29 feet wide on the top, and 45 feet in diameter at the base. It was composed entirely of clay.
Three feet from the surface six very much decayed skeletons were found, no parts of which could be preserved. The bodies seem to have been deposited without definite order.
No objects of art were obtained.
Opposite Kingston, on the Clinch River, are three mounds, located on the farm of T. N. Clark. They are all small, and, with the exception of two much decayed skeletons and a single arrow point, contained nothing of interest.
On the farm of S. P. Evans, three miles below Kingston, are three groups of mounds. The first contains five mounds; the second, a little higher up, has the same number, while the third has but two. They are all built of clay, and seem to be without remains of any sort.
On the farm of J. W. Niles, at this point, is a large mound that has the appearance of a Creek or Cherokee ball-ground. It was flat on the top, and had an area of 1¾ acres. The height was 15 feet. In outline it was somewhat triangular. This mound was also constructed of clay, and contained nothing of interest. In the fields, near by, human bones, pottery, stone implements, beads, etc., are frequently plowed up. From this locality the following specimens were collected:
62957. Arrow heads and knives of gray and black chalcedony.
62955. Unworked Unio shells.
62956. A number of shell beads of usual size and form.
About three hundred yards from the Tennessee River, at Paint Rock Ferry, is a large mound 40 feet in height, and covering an area of about about two acres.
Permission could not be obtained to open the mound, on account of the crop of corn that covered it. Near its base, on opposite sides, were two smaller mounds. One of these was 5 feet high and 10 in diameter, and contained a stone grave. The body which it contained had been laid on the ground and covered a foot deep with earth. A flat rock had been laid upon this, and slabs of limestone set on edge all around. The inclosed space was 4 feet in width by 5 in length. Earth had been used to cover the cist and form the mound.
About this mound were scattered many slabs of stone which had been plowed up during previous years; and it is stated that human bones and various objects of art have, at different times, been brought to light.
A short distance from the large mound, and near the river bank, is another mound on which a barn has been built.
Several hundred yards from the river, in a meadow, is a third mound, less than half as large as that first mentioned. The owner would not allow it to be disturbed. Still another mound, near by, was oval in outline, 28 feet long, by 20 wide, and 12 high. It was composed of clay and contained nothing but a few pieces of pottery.
62939, 62940, 62945. Fragments of pottery from the mounds at Paint Rock Ferry.
62935, 62937. Shell beads, buttons, and pendants, made from marine shells. A neatly made pendant is 1 inch in diameter and one-sixth of an inch thick. Near the edge are two small perforations for suspension, and at the center is a conical pit, encircled by a shallow incised line. Beside this, there are a number of buttons of similar shape, which have single perforations at the center. Some of the smaller beads seem to have been painted red. Figs. 136137, and 138.
shell bead, frontshell bead, sideshell bead, frontshell bead, sideshell bead
Fig. 136.Fig. 137.Fig. 138.
62936. Fragment of a large Busycon perversum.
62942. Teeth of the bear, and possibly of the horse found near the surface of one of the mounds.


This mound is located on the east end of the island. Although it has been under cultivation for many years, it is still 10 feet in height. The circumference at the base is about 100 feet. Near the surface a bed of burned clay was encountered, in which were many impressions of poles, sticks, and grass. This was probably the remains of the roof of a house, which had been about 16 feet long by 15 feet in width. The bed of clay was about 4 inches thick. Beneath this was a layer of charcoal and ashes, with much charred cane. There were also indications of charred posts, which probably served as supports to the roof. Four feet below the surface were found the remains of thirty-two human skeletons. With the exception of seventeen skulls, none of the bones could be preserved. There seems to have been no regularity in the placing of the bodies.
The fragments of pottery from this mound are unusually large and well preserved, and exhibit a number of varieties of form and ornamentation.
Forms.—The prevailing form is a pot-shaped vase, with wide mouth, and rounded body; the neck is short and straight or but slightly constricted. The handles or ears which connect the upper part of the neck with the shoulder are in some cases as much as 3 inches wide. The bowls are mostly hemispherical, but in a few cases have incurved lips, the shoulder being rounded and the base somewhat flattened. The largest specimens have been 11 or 12 inches in diameter. The vases have been 
Material.—Classified by material, there seem to be two varieties, one with a very large percentage of coarsely pulverized shell material, the other without visible dégraissant. The clay is usually fine and apparently without admixture of sand or other impurities. A little comminuted mica may be seen in some cases.
Color.—The prevailing color is a reddish gray, more or less blackened by use. A remarkable variety has a bright red surface, the mass being gray.
Ornamentation.—The ornamentation consists of cord and net impressions, incised lines, stamped figures, indented fillets, and life and fanciful forms modeled in relief.
The study of cord impressions is quite interesting. The cords are twisted and as large as medium twine. These cords appear to have 464been disconnected, at least, not woven into a fabric, and the impressions are generally nearly vertical about the upper part of the vessel, but below take all positions, the result being a sort of hatching of the lines. This effect may be the result of placing the vessel upon a coarse fabric while the rim was being finished or the handles added.
It seems possible that a loose net of cords, probably with fine crossthreads, is used to suspend the vessel in during the process of modeling. It appears, however, if this has been the case, that the vessel has been taken out of this net before it was burned. Where handles have been added, it will be found that the cord markings have been destroyed by the touch of the fingers. But the body has impressions of the net made after the addition of the handles and ornaments, as the impressions appear on the outside or lower edges of these additions. The lower part of the body may still have been supported by the net during the process of drying; but as some vessels have no cord markings whatever, it is evident that it was not difficult to complete the vessel without the support of the net.
By making a clay impression of one of the fragments I have been able to determine the character of the fabric used. It was loosely woven and quite flexible, the clay often receiving finger impressions through it. It was probably made of grasses or the fibre of bark.
earthen vessel
Fig. 139.
Beside the net and cord marks, which may or may not be the result of an attempt at ornament, there are ornaments made of fillets of clay. In a number of cases a comb-like figure made of thin fillets has been added to the shoulder of a vase. In other cases a fillet has been carried around the neck of the vase and indented by the finger or an implement.
The rim of one bowl has been ornamented with three deeply incised or excavated lines, which form a sort of embattled figure about the incurved lip. Another has a series of shallow, vertical, incised lines near the rim, and a circle of annular indentations, three-eighths of an inch in diameter, about one-fourth of an inch from the lip.
465There are also various forms of noded ornaments on the rims of bowls. The handles of vases are in a few cases effectively ornamented. In one case the handle has been elaborated into a life form, representing a frog or human figure. The arms are attached to the upper part of the handle and lie extended along the rim. The handle proper represents the body, the breast being protruded. The legs lie flattened out upon the shoulder of the vessel, the feet being bent back beneath the body; height 3½ inches. This vessel is illustrated in Fig. 139.
62906. A very handsome specimen of grooved ax. It is made of a remarkable variety of porphyritic diorite that resembles breccia.
The matrix has the appearance of a gray speckled quartzite; the angular inclusions being whitish feldspar, with dark-greenish patches of hornblende. The surface is smooth and shows but little wear. The length is 7 inches, the width 4, and the thickness 2 inches. The groove is deep, and has two well-defined bordering ridges. The head is low and rounded, and occupies about one-third of the length of the implement. The blade is well-formed, the sides being parallel or nearly so. The edge is slightly rounded in outline, and is polished and sharp.
62907. A grooved stone ax, 5 inches in length, 4½ inches in width, and 1¼ inches in thickness. The groove is placed as in the preceding example, but has a bordering ridge on the upper side only. The head is very large and narrow. The blade is rectangular in outline, and has a rounded, moderately sharp edge. The material is a compact graphic diorite (?).
62904. A grooved ax, 4 inches in length, 3½ inches in width, and three-fourths of an inch in thickness. The groove, which is well defined, has no lateral ridges. It seems to have been made from a flattish, oval, river pebble.
62902. Fragment of a pierced tablet of slate.
62903. A well shaped disk of translucent quartz, 1¾ inches in diameter and three-fourths of an inch in thickness. The sides are nearly flat, and the edge evenly rounded. The surface is quite smooth.
62905. Steatite pipe found on the surface of the mound. The bowl is about 6 inches in length and 1 inch in thickness. A section is nearly square. The cavities are roughly excavated.
62916. Well preserved specimen of Io spinosa.
62955. Specimens of Unio probatus.
62914. A large specimen of shell pin, made from the columella of a Busycon perversum. It is much discolored and in an advanced stage of decay. Length nearly 4 inches. Form as usual.
62913. A shell pin similar to the preceding.
62931. A number of large shell beads, made from the columellæ of marine shells. The larger specimens are cylindrical in form, and are 1 inch in length and upwards of 1 inch in diameter.
62932-62834. Shell beads of various sizes and shapes, made from the columellæ and walls of marine shells.
62928. A shell ornament, on the convex surface of which a very curious ornamental design has been engraved. The design, inclosed by a circle, represents a cross such as would be formed by two rectangular tablets or slips, slit longitudinally and interlaced at right-angles to each other. The lines are neatly and deeply incised. The edge of the ornament has been broken away nearly all around. It is represented natural size in the cut. Fig. 140.
shell ornamentshell ornament
Fig. 140.—Shell gorget with an engraved cross.Fig. 141.—Shell gorget with the engraving of a spider.
62929. This disk is somewhat more convex on the front than is indicated in the engraving. It is 2½ inches in diameter, and is quite thin and fragile, although the surface has not suffered much from decay. The margin is ornamented with twenty-four very neatly-made notches or scallops. Immediately inside the border on the convex side are two incised circles, on the 3 outer of which two small perforations for suspension have been made; inside of these, and less than half an inch from the margin, is a circle of seventeen subtriangular perforations, the inner angle of each being much rounded. Inside of this again is another incised circle, about 1¼ inches in diameter, which incloses the highly conventionalized figure of an insect resembling a spider. The middle segment of the body is nearly round and has near the center a large conical perforation. This round portion corresponds to the thorax of the insect and has four pairs of legs attached to it. It is difficult to distinguish the anterior and posterior extremities of the body. It is probable that the subtriangular figure below is intended for the head, as the two circles with central dots are good representations of eyes. Fig. 141.
62910, 62911, 62912. A number of bone implements, including needles, perforators, and paddle-shaped objects, found with the skeletons in the mound.