Neanderthal in Ohio? - Ohio's Ancient Cave Men

Neanderthal in Ohio? - Ohio's Ancient Cave Men 



Ash Cave in Benton county, Ohio, is one of these rock- shelters, so common in the south of France, and is remarkable for a considerable deposit of cinders covering an area of one hundred feet long by an average breadth of eighty feet. A trench two and one half feet deep revealed a considerable mass of debris of all kinds, bones of animals such as were suitable for the food of man, little sticks which may have been used as shafts for arrows, fragments of pottery, nuts, and grass fibres. A skeleton was seated near the wall, and the pieces of bark with which he had been covered, doubtless to keep the cinders from touching him, could still be made out. The greatest precaution had also evidently been taken with regard to a packet of little seeds * placed near him, which had been carefully covered with a layer of grass and ferns, and then with some coarse tissue. We are ignorant alike of their purpose and of the rite with which they were connected. We can only add that Professor Andrews,' from whom we have gleaned these details, considers the skeleton to date from a very remote period. In June, 1878, a habitation was examined situated in Summit county, Ohio ; it was formed by two rocks, each from fifteen to twenty feet in diameter, with a third rock forming a kind of roof. This dwelling, open though it was on the north and south, had served as a home for long generations, for after removing a thin layer of vegetable mould, the archaeologists who conducted the excavation met with beds of cinders four or five feet in thickness. Numerous boulders, that the troglodytes had not even had the energy to remove from their wretched residence, were imbedded amongst these cinders, together with more than five hundred fragments of pottery, bones, shells, and stone weapons or tools. The pottery retained the marks of the bark fibres of the netting in which it had been supported before baking. The deeper the excavations went the coarser and clumsier was the pottery. Not one of the stone objects showed the slightest trace of polishing, and most of them seem to have served as knives. The bones were those of the bear, wolf, porcupine, buffalo, stag, squirrel, fox, beaver, and there were some which had belonged to a heron and a wild turkey. The bones containing marrow had been broken, some were roughly pointed, all indicating that the culture of the cave men had been of the most primitive description.