Few People Know Mysterious Giants May Have Inhabited West Virginia Long Ago
West Virginia has a long and colorful history, but few people realize how far back that history actually goes. For example, did you know that thousands of years ago, ancient giants may have walked these mountains?
West Virginia is known for its large number of ancient burial mounds.
These mounds, thought to be thousands of years old, were erected by a native race long predating the American Indians living here when the first white settlers arrived. The largest of these burial mounds measures over 200 feet in diameter and over 60 feet high.
But the secrets within the mounds are even more remarkable.
The remains found as these mounds were excavated over the years reveal humans - possibly chiefs or shamans of great honor - buried in complex and unique methods and arrangements.
When Grave Creek Mound, the world's largest conical mound, was excavated in the early 1800s, it was reported that skeletons up to 8 feet tall were discovered inside.
Years later, the Smithsonian Institution performed the excavation of the Criel Mound in South Charleston, another massive mound judged to date to the same time period as Grave Creek Mound. Of the 13 skeletons unearthed, 10 were arranged in a spoke-like pattern around one central skeleton that was 6 feet 8 inches tall.
And in the 1950s, Cresap Mound in Marshall County was excavated by Don Dragoo of the Smithsonian. Among the 54 human skeletons discovered inside, one was found to be over 7 feet in length.
Over the years, many other human skeletons or individual bones unearthed across the state (and in neighboring states) were reported to be abnormally large, although none of these have been preserved until today.
There is, however, no shortage of controversy surrounding some of these claims.
Some modern scholars allege that many of the early discoveries were not measured correctly or that they were misidentified due to the researchers' lack of scientific training. Others, in turn, have theorized that the Smithsonian orchestrated a coverup of evidence of giant skeletons for unknown reasons. This stems from two burial mounds in Doddridge County that were excavated in 1930 by professor Ernest Sutton of Salem University. He allegedly found human skeletons from seven to nine feet tall, and the artifacts reported to have been turned over to the Smithsonian. However, the skeletons were apparently stolen and have disappeared, which (together with later revision of measurements) has spawned the coverup theory.
While there have certainly been far-fetched ideas regarding the ancient mound builders (including ideas including the Lost Tribes of Israel, Vikings, or Aztecs), there does appear to be a body of evidence supporting the discovery abnormally large human skeletons in West Virginia.
We may never know more details about this ancient native race, but it is fodder for the imagination! There are plenty of other
circulating the state. Which is your favorite?
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Grave Creek Indian Mound, Moundsville, WV 26041, USA