The Adena Mound Located Near Coshocton, Ohio

The Adena Mound Located Near Coshocton, Ohio

The Porteus mound is still visible today, a few miles from Coshocton, Ohio.  Photo from, "The Nephilim Chronicles: A Travel Guide to the Ancient Ruins in the Ohio Valley."

Centennial History of Coshocton County, Ohio, Volume 1, 1909

     The Porteus farm revealed charcoal traces, a few pottery fragments, flint chips, small bones, a trinket or ceremonial of lead, and a finely chipped spear-head six inches long. This was the extent of the discovery, "to our chagrin," as the archaeologist reports, "after exceedingly laborious and dangerous excavation." The report states that no larger force of workmen was ever put on a mound in the Ohio Valley. "Sixteen men were employed day and night for four days in sinking a trench thirty-five feet wide and seventy feet long. The sides were loose and dangerous, and heavy bracing was necessary. No burials were discovered, although tunnels were run several yards on the baseline in various directions. This was disappointing, especially after the expenditure of a large sum of money. However, we learn again that it is not always the largest and most imposing monument which contains the greatest treasure. Failure to find anything cannot be charged to imperfect or hasty examination — the whole center of the mound was exposed by the trench and tunnels for a               distance of thirty by twenty-five feet. As it was desirable to restore the monument to its former shape, we engaged Mr. Porteus to fill our trench." Composed entirely of earth and unstratified this mound suggests the question of how much the rains of ages may have reduced the height, possibly from a towering structure to the present pile of twenty-three feet. There is also a query, in connection with mound excavating in general, as to whether or not the practice of digging to the present base line may be stopping short of discoveries farther down. The Porteus mound crowds the Muskingum bank so closely that the riverside drive has cut the side of the mound. It is one of the very few earthworks found on the last of the river terraces to be re claimed from the stream, suggesting that it was among the last constructions of the Moundbuilders. Whether intended as a monument in connection with the ancient cemetery it overlooks, or possibly as a signal station, is another Moundbuilder mystery.

Old photo of the Porteus mound soon after its excavation by the Ohio Historical Society. I t was the general rule to not restore the mounds.