Adena Stone Burial Mound is Discovered in Whitley County, Indiana

Adena Stone Burial Mound is Discovered in Whitley County, Indiana

This stone burial mound was found about two miles west of Columbia City, Indiana.  It is one of two stone burial mounds that have been photographed in this part of the state.  The construction is that of the Adena mound builders. Mound researcher, Kent Christon was the discoverer of the site and who took this photo.

History of Noble and Whitley Counties in Indiana, 1882
      Several mounds have been opened in the county, in which charcoal has been found. If carefully examined, these mounds will present the following char acteristics always present in sacrificial mounds. A small earthen altar, sometimes two or more yards square, in the center and at the bottom of the mound, upon which is often found a bushel or more of charcoal and ashes, often mingled with the half consumed bones of the animals that_ were burned to pro pitiate the deity. Over this altar are found the strata of earth already men tioned. A careful person can trace the shape and size of the altar, by first making an excavation in the center, going; down until the charcoal is reached, and then following the latter out on all sides. The altar is generally about a foot above the surface soil, and is often burned into a sort of brick by the repeated fires upon it. Nothing of note is ever found in the memorial mounds proper. No attention to the strata of earth seems to have been paid. Some of the sepulchral mounds contain not a vestige of human remains; this is due to the careless structure and location of the mounds, where the conditions of rapid decay were not avoided. These mounds can be told from memorial mounds by the structure. The writer learns from various sources that there are mounds in the following townships : Etna, J eiferson, on its eastern line, Troy, Thorn Creek, Smith, Union, and possibly in Columbia and Cleveland.
      A number of years ago, a sepulchral mound was opened about three miles east of Columbia City, and a quantity of crumbling bones and a few stone implements were taken therefrom. This was a sepulchral mound, and, if a cross-section had been examined, the alternate layers of clay, sand and small cemented pebbles would have been seen. This kind of mound was wisely made. There was first the stratum of fine gravel, almost as good as cement, placed directly over the skeletons ; next was a hardpan of clay that was almost as impervious to water as the cement ; then came astratum of sand that would carry all percolating water down the sides of the mounds and away from the skeletons. It is maintained on good authority that corpses, placed under these conditions, with additional strata of earth above the sand, will be pre served for centuries. The burden of authority places the erection of the mounds throughout the country at a period preceding the Christian era and co-existent with the old Assyrian, Egyptian and Babylonian nations. People who do not understand the structure of the mounds, quite naturally believe the impossibility of such an extended preservation of the skeletons.