Nephi Earthwork Located in Jefferson, County New York

Nephi Earthwork Located in Jefferson, County New York



Following the brow of the terrace northward from the work first described, for about two miles, we come to another work of somewhat more regular figure, and of larger dimensions. Most of it is under cultivation, and the outlines are very much defaced. The embankment, upon one side, runs into the forest land, where it is well preserved, measuring, perhaps, three feet in height. The darker lines of the engraving show what parts are still distinctly marked; the dotted lines those which have been ploughed down, and which are no longer distinguishable from the general level, except by the deeper green and more luxuriant growth of the grass on the line of the ancient trench. The position of the work, it will be seen, corresponds very nearly with that of the one previously described. There is, however, no water near at hand, except a limited supply from a small spring. Nevertheless, this seems to have been the site of a very populous aboriginal town. The entire area of the work is covered with accumulations of carbonaceous matter, burned stones, fragments of bones, pottery, etc. Indeed, these indications are visible for some distance exterior to the walls, upon the adjacent level. These artificial accumulations have rendered the soil within the enclosure extremely fertile, and it sustains most luxuriant crops. In cultivating the area, many fragments of human bones, some of them burned, have been observed,—suggesting the possibility that the ancient village was destroyed by enemies, and that these are the bones of its occupants, who fell in defence of their kindred, and were burned in the fires which consumed their lodges. A little to the northward of the work, there seems to have been an aboriginal cemetery. Here the plough frequently exposes skeletons, buried according to the Indian mode, and accompanied by various rude relics of stone and bone. Within and around the work are also found stone axes, flint arrow-heads, and other remnants of savage art. Fragments of pottery and broken pipes of clay are, however, most abundant. Of these bushels might be collected without much difficulty.