Saturday, May 28, 2016

Extensive Burial Ground Described below Stone Walls of Mt. Carbon, West Virginia

Extensive Burial Ground Described below Stone Walls of Mt. Carbon, West Virginia


Parts of the stone walls atop of Mt. Carbon are still visible. An extensive burial ground was discovered at the bottom of the Mountain along the Kanawha River.

History and Mystery of the Kanawha Valley, 1898 

 This wall, for two miles or more, faces the river on the front end of the mountain, which is very steep and difficult of ascent, runs up the creek along the bench, thence through a low gap in the ridge to the corresponding bench on the other side of the ridge, facing the other creek, and back again to the river front; in all, some seven or eight miles in circuit; of an irregularly, elliptical shape; with a cross wall dividing the enclosure into two.
    The wall was, originally, six to seven feet in height, and nearly as wide at the base; but, from its great age, and partial disintegration of the stones, most of it has tumbled down; forming — as it were — a winnow of stones on the site of the original wall. Near the center of the enclosure are the remains of what are supposed to have been two round towers, probably twenty or more feet high, and twenty feet in diameter; these, like the walls, are now in ruins. It is difficult to even to conjecture the purpose and use of this curious work, and at such a place. There is, within the enclosure, one spring; a small, but ever flowing stream of water. Along the riverfront, at the base of the mountain, is an extensive burying ground. The mode of burial was peculiar and entirely different from that of the whites, the Indians or the Mound Builders. The bodies were deposited about four feet underground, horizontal from the hips down, and at an angle of about 30° from the waist up, and all facing. the cast.
   This is a significant fact and points strongly to the idea that they may have been sun-worshippers or descended from sun-worshippers. Captain Page carefully examined a number of these skeletons, measuring the bones and facial angles of the skulls, and found that they conformed much more nearly to the white race than to the Indian. There was a pile of stones over each grave, but below the surface; there was nothing on the surface to indicate the existence of a grave. Query? May not these stone piles, and the whole valley thereabout, have been covered by the deposits of the successive floods in the river? just as the Nile Valley is known to be raised two or three inches in a century by the successive annual overflows of the Nile? If this suggestion should be well founded, it indicates that a very long time has elapsed since these graves were made, as the Kanawha does not, like the Nile, overflow its banks every year — sometimes not for many years.