Archaeological History of Clark County, Ohio

Archaeology of Clark County, Ohio

Arcjhaeological map of Clark County, Ohio with the locations of the burial mounds and earthworks

    

The largest mound in the County, was the Enon Mound. When it was excavated a clay tomb, described as an "oven" was found in the center

    Mr. Altick recently visited Bechtle Mound located about one mile from Ferncliff, and almost due southwest from it. Bechtle Mound is 750 feet from the south side of Buck Creek, and seventy feet above the water level of the stream ; this mound occupies the east end of a ridge composed of clay and gravel, and it raises to an elevation of twelve feet above the surface. It is about 100 feet west from Bechtle Avenue, and 300 feet south of the viaduct across the drive in Snyder Park ; the north and south diameter is approximately seventy feet at the base, while the east and west measurement is nearly sixty-four feet, the base circumference measuring 210 feet. While it has a 1 rectangular base, it approaches the cone in shape and the apex is somewhat sunken, most likely caused by the interior chamber giving away; its summit affords an excellent observation- point. An unobstructed view may be had of the Mad River Valley; three oak trees grow on its western slope. 
       Mr. Altick also visited a mound on the R. W. Newlove farm in Harmony Township which consists of two elliptical shaped ridges of earth, resembling a gigantic "wish bone." The area of the two ridges is practically the same, covering about one acre, the one on the north being more shallow than the other; the ridge on the south has a ditch twenty-five feet wide, and from five to seven feet deep; it encircles the inside of the ridge, and is thrown up on the outside of it. The distance from the bottom of the ditch to the top of the ridge varies from nine to thirteen feet, and the height of the ridge varies from four to six feet, as measured from the land surrounding it. The width at the base is from twenty to twenty-five feet, and the outlet at the ends of the ditches is from thirty to forty feet in width, while the two ridges are separated by twenty-five to thirty feet, the diameter of one being 325 feet, while the other is 434 feet, indicating considerable activity on the part of the Moundbuilders in that locality. The circumference of these two ridges measures 1,025 feet, and the western half of the north ridge is under cultivation, the remainder of the area being covered by forest trees and a dense growth of underbrush. Inside the inclosure of the southern ellipse at the western end, there is a small mound ; a few years ago a shaft was sunk into it to the depth of four feet, and the material removed was fine gravel with nothing unusual in it. It is the only excavation ever made in the ridges, and the adjacent valley is about three-quarters of a mile in length, with boggy land extending to Beaver Creek; on the north and west, the valley is walled by a range of hills. To the casual observer, this seems inadequate as a means of defense, and the whole valley would be a death trap for an invading force. 

      About half a mile from this point, the national road was cut through a similar mound ; at the present time it stands about twenty-five feet high from the surface, and an oak tree is on its apex ; its diameter is nearly 250 feet — a milestone of the ages. On the eastern slope of this mound Mr. Altick secured three hammer stones, and one broken spear head that was covered with patina; the flake marks on it were worn smooth. A square block of white flint with one corner broken off was also found ; it was covered with patina and appeared to be of great age; a flint knife and the head of a flint knife found there were also covered with patina, this being the color or incrustation which age gives to works of art. 

     About 300 feet southwest is another mound nearly three feet high, and thirty feet in diameter. The apex is sunken about eight inches, most likely caused by the interior chamber giving away, although there is no indication that the mound has ever been opened; it is at the western edge of a woods, and part of it is under cultivation. A large black flint of unusual luster was secured at this mound. Accompanied by J. Heber Cusick, Mr. Altick visited another mound having an elevation of 100 feet above the semi-rolling surrounding country and covering approximately two acres.