Ancient Graveyard of 3 Foot Pygmy Race Discovered in Tennessee

Ancient Graveyard of 3 Foot Pygmy Race Discovered in Tennessee


Archaeologist calls the figure on this pipe, "fanciful."  But maybe it depicts a person from a pygmy race that numbered in the thousands and lived in peace with the giant race.

“Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee, 1823
 devote an entire section to the consideration of “the ancient pygmies.” The following is a synopsis of the facts stated by him in reference to this matter:— A number of small skeletons were discovered a few miles from Sparta, Tennessee, in White County, an account of which was given by a Mr. Lane. The graves were about two feet in length, fourteen inches broad, and sixteen inches deep. These extend promiscuously throughout the farm of Mr. Lane, and in a large and closely connected burying-ground in the vicinity; there were others of the same description four miles south of Sparta, and it is said that hundreds of them might be found throughout the locality. There is no discernible rising on the surface of the earth on account of these graves, and they were found by sinking an iron rod into the ground until it struck the covering stone of the colfins. These graves generally contained small skeletons of human beings so much decayed that they could not be removed without being broken to pieces, or crumbling to dust. There were also found in them remnants of pottery and shells, as well as bones of animals. In one the skeleton lay on its back, with its feet drawn up, so as to raise the knees about four inches above the bottom of the grave; the head was also so raised as to cause the chin to lie upon the breast. This‘ skeleton, carefully measured as it lay, was found to be, from a little below the ankle-joints to the top of the skull, two feet ten inches, making a proper allowance for the bending of the legs and the inclination of the head. But one grave of the whole series was ‘of a larger size and of a different form, being constructed after the manner of a coffin, fourteen inches broad at the head, twenty-two at the elbow, and ten at the foot; the sides and ends were of flag-stones, the same as those of the small graves. In this grave lay a skeleton five foot, five inches long, the head to the west and the feet to the east. This skeleton was carefully uncovered without displacing any of the bones until the whole was exposed to View. Its mouth was wide open and contained a full set of teeth, the arms lay along the side, the ribs were broad and flat and more than double the size of those of the Pigmies. The head was also larger, the eyes wider apart, and the forehead higher than those in the smaller graves. The skull was perfect, with the exception of a fracture on the right cheek-bone; and a quantity of fine, straight hair adhered to it, which was of a bright gray color. No vessels or trinkets were found with this skeleton, and, from the great dissimilarity in the shape of its head and the size and form of the bones, it seemed to belong to a different tribe from the skeletons of the smaller graves. From the great number of small graves found here, says Mr. Lane, all of the same description, and, among them all, but one being of a large size, it seems to indicate that there was, in ancient times, a race of people whose height was from two feet ten to three feet. As old as the hair of the large skeleton seemed to be, there was not a tooth lost or unsound in either jaw, but one of the Pigmy heads had in the upper jaw a decayed tooth, whence it was conjectured that the person to whom this skeleton belonged was older than the former. Specimens of the contents of these graves were submitted to medical gentlemen of Nashville, and various opinions were entertained as to the maturity or infancy of the smaller skeletons. The prevailing one seemed to be that these skeletons belonged to adult persons of small size, and also that some of the bones found were those of animals—Natural and Aboriginal History of Tennessee