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PLATE VI. No. 1.


It was with some hesitation that I concluded to regard the ditch represented in Fig. 1 as artificial, and an ancient work, but I am now convinced that it is an excavation, and anterior to the earliest white occupation of this region. To explain its design is more than I shall attempt. If it was intended as a race-way for water power, it need not have been sunk so deep, and should have been connected with the stream at the upper end. It is not low enough at the bottom to allow the water of the river to flow through so as to cut off the bend, if the object was to change the channel without first raising the water above. The ditch itself does not show the action of running water, being remarkably well preserved at the sides and the bottom.

The soil is clayey and retains water.

The trench is not of uniform width, varying from thirty-five to twenty-five at the top; its sides are as steep as such earth will lie.

There is only a slight elevation at the edges of the ditch, showing that the earth taken out was either carried away, or spread evenly over the adjoining surface. In this particular it corresponds with the ditch described heretofore at "Big Bottom."

A part of the ground between this trench and the river is subject to floods, being from nine to fifteen feet above low water. It is commanded by the bluff opposite, which rises twenty-five or thirty feet, so that the place could not have been occupied as a defensive post. The water of the creek is sluggish, and has a muddy bottom; but at ordinary stages it might be passed by men or horses. By damming the stream below its channel, the ditch might be filled with deep water, thus forming a moat difficult of passage, and affording some security, were not the whole overlooked on all sides by higher ground.

The work must, I think, have had some connection with ceremonies, religious or military; but I know of nothing analogous in history or antiquarianism, except those given in these sketches.

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