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We are in possession of very little authentic information respecting the monuments of the Southern United States.73All accounts concur in representing them as very numerous and extensive, and as characterized by a regularity unknown, or known but to a limited degree, amongst those which occur further north, on the Ohio and its tributaries, and upon the Missouri and Upper Mississippi. This extraordinary regularity, as well as their usually great dimensions, have induced many to regard them as the work not only of a different era, but of a different people. Mounds of several stages, closely resembling the Mexican Teocalli in form and size; broad terraces of various heights; elevated passages and long avenues, are mentioned among the varieties of ancient structures which abound from Florida to Texas. The mounds are often disposed with the utmost system in respect to each other. Around some of the larger ones, others of smaller size are placed at regular intervals, and at fixed distances. Some have spiral pathways leading to their tops, and others possess graded ascents like those at Marietta.74

It is to be observed, however, that while mounds are thus abundant, enclosures are comparatively few, especially those which seem to be of a military origin. A few have been noticed in South Carolina, on the Wateree river, which partake of the character of military works, and of which some account will shortly be given.

The following plans from original and hitherto unpublished surveys will serve to illustrate, to a limited degree, the character of a portion of the Southern remains.

73. The inability to add very largely to our stock of information respecting the monuments of the Southern United States, is less a matter of regret, since it is ascertained that Dr. M. W. Dickeson of Philadelphia, whose researches in natural science have created no little interest, has devoted much of his time to their investigation. His inquiries have been conducted on a large scale, and will serve to reflect much new light upon our antiquities. It is to be hoped the public will soon be put in possession of the results of his labors.

74. Most of the accounts of the monuments of the South met with in various works, treating directly or incidentally of our antiquities, are derived from Bartram, whose animated descriptions of those which fell under his notice are not always easily recognised, in the various forms under which they are presented. Near the conclusion of his work, he sums up his observations in this department as follows:

"The pyramidal hills or artificial mounds, and high ways or avenues leading from them to artificial lakes or ponds, vast tetragon terraces, 'chunk yards,' and obelisks or pillars of wood, are the only monuments of labor, ingenuity and magnificence, that I have seen worthy of notice or remark. The region lying between the Savannah river and Ockmulgee, east and west, and from the sea-coast to the Cherokee or Apalachian mountains, north and south, is the most remarkable for these high conical hills, tetragon terraces, etc. This region was possessed by the Cherokees since the arrival of the Europeans, but they were afterwards dispossessed by the Muscogulges; and all that country was probably many ages preceding the Cherokee invasion inhabited by one nation or confederacy, who were ruled by the same system of laws, customs, and language, but so ancient that the Cherokees, Creeks, or the nation they conquered, could render no account for what purposes these monuments were raised. The mounts and cubical yards adjoining them seem to have been raised in part for ornament and recreation, and likewise to serve for some other public purpose, since they are always so situated as to command the most extensive prospect over the country adjacent. The tetragon terraces seem to be the foundations of fortresses; and perhaps the great pyramidal mounts served the purposes of look-out towers and high places for sacrifice. The sunken area called by white traders the 'chunk yard' very likely served the same conveniency that it has been appropriated to by the more modern and even present nations of Indians, that is, the place where they burnt or otherwise tortured their captives that were condemned to die; as the area is surrounded by a bank, and sometimes two of them, one behind and above the other, as seats to accommodate the spectators at such tragical scenes, as well as at the exhibition of shows, dances, and games. From the river St. Juan's, southwardly to the point of the peninsula of Florida, are to be seen high pyramidal mounts, with spacious and extensive avenues, leading from them out of the town, to an artificial lake or pond of water: these were evidently designed for ornament or monuments of magnificence to perpetuate the power and grandeur of the nation; and not inconsiderable neither, for they exhibit scenes of power and grandeur, and must have been public edifices." — Travels in North America, p. 518.

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