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very hard material must have been required to work the porphyry in this manner. Obsidian is a volcanic product largely used by the ancient Mexicans and Peruvians for arms and cutting instruments. It is found in its natural state nowhere nearer the Mississippi Valley than the Mexican mountains of Cerro Gordo. There appears to be evidence that the Mound-Builders had the art of spinning and weaving, for cloth has been found among their remains. At the meeting of the International Congress of Pre-Historic Archaeology held at Norwich, England, in 1868, one of the speakers stated this fact as follows: “Fragments of charred cloth made of spun fibres have been found in the mounds. A specimen of such cloth, taken from a mound in Butler County, Ohio, is in Blackmore Museum, Salisbury. In the same collection are several lumps of burnt clay which formed part of the “altar, so called, in a mound in Ross County, Ohio: to this clay a few charred threads are still attached.” Figures 17 and 18 represent specimens of vases taken from the
Figs. 17, 18.-Vases from the Mounds.
Mr. Schoolcraft gives this account of a discovery made in West Virginia: “Antique tube: telescopic device. In the course of excavations made in 1842 in the easternmost of the three mounds of the Elizabethtown group, several tubes of stone were disclosed, the precise object of which has been the subject of various opinions. The longest measured twelve inches, the shortest eight. Three of them were carved out of steatite, being skillfully cut and polished. The diameter of the tube externally was one inch and four tenths; the bore, eight tenths of an inch. This calibre was continued till within three eighths of an inch of the sight end, when it diminishes to two tenths of an inch. By placing the eye at the diminished end, the extraneous light is shut from the pupil, and distant objects are more clearly discerned.”
He points out that the carving and workmanship generally are very superior to Indian pipe carvings, and adds, if this article was a work of the Mound-Builders “intended for a telescopic tube, it is a most interesting relic.” An ancient Peruvian relic, found a few years since, shows the figure of a man wrought in silver, in the act of studying the heavens through such a tube. Similar tubes have been found among relics of the Mound-Builders in Ohio and elsewhere. In Mexico, Captain Dupaix saw sculptured on a peculiar stone structure the figure of a man making use of one. Astronomical devices were sculptured below the figure. This structure he supposed to have been used for observation of the stars. His account of it will be given in the chapter on Mexican and Central American ruins.
The Mound-Builders used large quantities of copper such as that taken from the copper beds on Lake Superior, where the extensive mines yield copper, not in the ore, but as pure metal. It exists in those beds in immense masses, in small veins, and in separated lumps of various sizes. The Mound-Builders worked this copper without smelting it. Spots of pure silver are frequently found studding the surface of Lake Superior copper, and appearing as if welded to it, but not alloyed with it. No other copper has this peculiarity; but copper with similar blotches of silver has been dug from the mounds. It was naturally inferred from this fact that the ancient people represented by these antiquities had some knowledge of the art of mining copper which had been used in the copper region of Lake Superior. This inference finally became an ascertained fact.
THEIR ANCIENT MINING WORKS.
Remains of their mining works were first discovered in 1848 by Mr. S. O. Knapp, agent of the Minnesota Mining Company, and in 1849 they were described by Dr. Charles T. Jackson, in his geological report to the national government. Those described were found at the Minnesota mine, in upper Michigan, near Lake Superior. Their mining was chiefly surface work; that is to say, they worked the surface of the veins in open pits and trenches. At the Minnesota mine, the greatest depth of their excavations was thirty feet; and here, “not far below the bottom of a trough-like cavity, among a mass of leaves, sticks, and water, Mr. Knapp discovered a detached mass of copper weighing nearly six tons. It lay upon a cob-work of round logs or skids six or eight inches in diameter, the ends of which showed plainly the marks of a small axe or cutting tool about two and a half inches wide. They soon shriveled and decayed when exposed to the air. The mass of copper had been raised several feet, along the foot of the lode, on timbers, by means of wedges.” At this place was found a stone maul weighing thirty-six pounds, and also a copper maul or sledge weighing twenty-five pounds. Old trees showing 395 rings of annual growth stood in the débris, and “the fallen and decayed trunks of trees of a former generation were seen lying across the pits.” Figure 19 (opposite) presents a section of this mining shaft of the Mound-Builders: a shows the mass of copper; b the bottom of the shaft; c the earth and débris which had been thrown out. The dark spots are masses of copper. The modern mining works are mostly confined to that part of the copper region known as Keweenaw Point. This is a projection of land extending into Lake Superior, and described as having the shape of an immense horn. It is about eighty miles in length, and, at the place where it joins the main land, about forty-five miles in width. All through this district, wherever modern miners have worked, remains of ancient mining works are abundant; and they are extensive on the adjacent island, known as Isle Royale. The area covered by the ancient works is larger than that which includes the modern mines, for they are known to exist in the dense forests of other districts, to which the modern mining has not yet been extended. One remarkable mining excavation of the MoundBuilders was found near the Waterbury mine. Here, in the face of a vertical bluff, was discovered “an ancient, artificial, cavern-like recess, twenty-five feet in horizon
Fig. 19.-Ancient Mining Shafu.
tal length, fifteen feet high, and twelve feet deep. In front of it is a pile of excavated rock on which are standing, in full size, the forest trees common to this region.” Some of the blocks of stone removed from this recess would weigh two or three tons, and must have required levers to get them out. Beneath the surface rub