William C. (William Corless) Mills.

Explorations of the Baum prehistoric village site online

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ments. The canine teeth were perforated near the end of the
root for attachment. The posterior prenwlars were invariably re-
moved from the jaw and perforated for attachment.

Mountain Lion (Felis concolor) — The bones of this animal
are not met with in abundance in this village, although several
of the large leg bones have been found as well as various por-
tions of seven skulls. The broken bones are sparingly found in
every portion of the village, and the teeth, such as the canines, the
upper posterior premolars and the lower molars were perforated
and used as ornaments.

Wild Cat (Lynx rufa) — The bones of this animal are found
in great abundance in every section of the village. Portions of
thirty skulls and parts of one hundred and twenty-five lower
jaws were secured. Only a few perfect leg bones were found
and these showed plainly the marks of the flint knife in remov-
ing the flesh from the bones. The canine teeth were much sought
after for ornament and not a single lower jaw taken from this
village has the canine teeth in place.

Raccoon (Procyon lotor) — The bones of the racoon are
more abundant in this village than any other animal belonging
to the order Carnivora, although every family of the order is
represented. The bones for the most part were broken and not
more than ten perfect femurs were secured. Thirty-five frag-

Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site. ^§

mentary skulls, one perfect skull and two hundred and twenty-
seven parts of lower jaws were taken from the pits. The perfect
skull was that of a very old animal. The upper canine teeth
seem to be the only teeth selected from the raccoon for orna-
ment. Many of the leg bones were made into beads, and the
fibulas were invariably made into awls or perforators.

Gray Fox (Urocyon virginianus) — This animal was cer-
tainly plentiful in this section of the Paint Creek Valley, as the
bones are found in every part of the village. During the ex-
plorations over two hundred lower jaws and over twenty frag-
mentary skulls were secured.

Indian Dog (Canis) — This animal was found in every sec-
tion of the village and I have described this dog at some length
in the preceding pages.

The dental formula is as follows :

J 3-3 p 1-1 p 4-4 j^ 2-^_

^- 3-3 ^- 1-1 ^- 4-4 ^^^- b-3~*-'-

The canine teeth of the lower jaw are quite large and strong,
the inner edge of each being quite sharp. The first molar is large
with chisel-shaped cones upon the surface of the anterior part
of the tooth, while the posterior part is very large and flattened,
but has a number of small cusps arising from the edge of the
tooth; this molar is much larger than the second and third
combined. In the upper jaw the first, second and third premolars
are very much alike, although the first is single-rooted and not
so large. The fourth premolar is very large, with cone-shaped
cusps arising from the crown, the inner part chisel-shaped in
form. The two molars are very dififerent, although in general
character alike, as the first is very much smaller than the second,
and both set at right angles to the premolars. The outside of
the anterior molar is made up of two large cone-shaped cusps,
while the inside of the tooth is very large and flattened and the
crown low ; likewise the second molar has two cone-shaped cusps
upon the outside of the tooth, but much smaller in size.

There is no doubt but that this dog was a domesticated
animal and lived in the village, as proof of his presence is man-
ifest in almost every section of the village by finding many
large pieces of bones that had been gnawed. This discovery led

30 Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site.

me to believe, even before the remains of the dog itself were
found, that his presence in the village would be discovered. The
dog was also used for food, as his bones were broken in a man-
ner similar to those of other animals employed for food.

Skunk {Mephitis mephitica) was not found in abundance in
the village, though almost every tepee site would reveal some
broken bones of this animal. During the examination five im-
perfect skulls, two perfect skulls, and twenty lower jaws were
found. The skulls were broken similar to other animals, in order
to remove the brain, which was no doubt used for food.

Mink (Putorius vison) — The bones of this animal were
occasionally met with in every section of the village. The bones
of such a small animal would readily be destroyed by the Indian
dog. Three perfect skulls, ten imperfect, and thirty-one lower
jaws were secured during the explorations.

Otter (Lutra canadensis) — The remains of this animal are
met with quite frequently. Twenty fragmentary skulls and parts
of 23 lower jaws were secured. Not a single perfect specimen
of the larger bones was found.

Fisher (Mustela pennanti) — The remains of this animal are
sparingly met with and only two broken parts of the upper jaw
with a portion of skull attached, and five lower jaws, were found
among the entire explorations in the village.

Opossum (Didelphs virginianus) — The remains of this ani-
mal are found in more or less abundance in the village, although
but few remains are found in the refuse pits. Twenty imperfect
skulls and twenty-five parts of lower jaws were found. The
upper canine teeth were much sought after for ornament, per-
haps on account of their size and general appearance, being long
and gracefully curved.

Ground Hog (Arctomys monax) — The remains of this ani-
mal were found in abundance in the refuse pits. One perfect
skull, thirty imperfect skulls and one hundred and five parts of
the lower jaw were secured.

Beaver (Castor canadensis) — The beaver is well represented
among the animal remains found in the village. Fifty parts
of skulls and about the same number of parts of lower jaws were
secured. The incisor teeth were highly prized by aboriginal man

Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site. 31

when' cut and made into ornaments and cutting tools. The large
leg bones were also found unbroken and might be considered
the best preserved in the village.

Musk Rat (Fiber zibethicus) — The bones of this animal are
not found as frequently as either the Ground Hog or the Beaver.
One perfect skull and parts of three imperfect skulls were taken
from the refuse pits.

Rabbit (Lepus sylvaticus) — The remains of the rabbit are
found in all parts of the village. Two perfect, and parts of two
imperfect skulls were found, but the large bones of the skele-
ton were everywhere abundant.

Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) — The remains of the
squirrel appear in great numbers, although but parts of two
skulls were secured during the explorations, and then only in
the last season's work in the village, however, the various bones
of the squirrel were abundantly found in almost every tepee site.

Weasel (Mustek vulgaris) — The bones of this small ani-
mal are occasionally met with in the village, though it is rea-
sonable to believe that the bones of this animal, as well as those
of other small animals, would be totally destroyed by the Indian
dog. Portions of three skulls and five lower jaws were found.

Rice Field Mouse (Oryzomys palustrus) — The rice field
mouse is found in great numbers in the refuse pits, attracted
there evidently by the grain and nuts stored for food.

Box Turtle (Cestudo virginea) — The bones of the common
box-turtle are very abundant in the village. From one pit alone
fifty-nine carapaces were removed, which no doubt represented
a turtle feast. The carapaces were frequently cut and made into
drinking vessels and spoons.

Snapping-turtle (Chelydra serpentina) — This turtle is also
found in all parts of the village, but not so plentiful as the box-

Wild Turkey (Meleogris gallaparo) — Fully eighty per cent,
of all the bones of birds found in the village site belong to the
wild turkey. The flesh of this bird was certainly highly prized
for food. The large leg and wing bones were made into im-
plements and ornaments and the skulls into rattles.

32 Explorations of the Ban in Prehistoric Village Site.

Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) — The bones of this
bird are sparingly met with, as they were highly prized for
making ornaments, and the majority of the large bones were cut
into beads.

Barred Ozvl (Syrnium varium) — The bones of the barred
owl are occassionally met with. As with the great horned owl,
the bones were made into ornaments.

Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) — The humerus of this
bird was found quite frequently, but the other large bones were
manufactured into implements and ornaments.

Trumpeter Swan (Olor buccinator) — Like the Canada
Goose, only humeri of this large bird are found, and those spar-

■Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias) — Only a- few bones of
this bird were found.

Bald Eagle (Haliaetus leucocephalus) — Only a few boneS
of the Eagle have been found — one skull, several ends of large
wing and leg bones that were left from the manufacture of some
ornament, and a few claws.

Mallard Duck (Anas boochas) Pintail (Dafila acuta) and
Canvas-hack (Aythya vallisneria) are found frequently in the re-
fuse pits. Several skulls of each were found.

The presence of great numbers of mussel shells, both in the
pits and surrounding the tepee sites, would indicate that this
shell fish was much used for food. At the Gartner Village the
remains of large mussel bakes were found,* but the large pits
used in the preparation of the mussels for feasts were not found
at the Baum site. However, large holes, from which earth had
been taken, perhaps for use in the construction of the mound,
were filled with the shells, and surrounding pits also contained
great numbers of the shells, indicating that a great feast had
taken place, and that the mussels were prepared in a way similar
to those at the Gartner mound.

* Accounts of the mussel bakes are given in the Pub. of the Ohio
State Archaeological and Historical Society, Vol. XIII.

Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site. 33


In order to secure data of certain cultures in each coun-
try, historical records are quite important and help to deter-
mine the origin of certain agricultural products. These rec-
ords show that agriculture came originally from three great re-
gions which had no communications with each other, namely,
China, South West Asia and Egypt, and inter-tropical America,
and from these three regions began great civilizations based upon
agriculture. However, we find that history is at fault in giv-
ing us much early data concerning the third great center of civ-
ilization which does not even date from the first centuries of
the Christian era, but we know from the widespread cultiva-
tion of corn, beans, sweet potatoes and tobacco, north and south
of the center of the American civilization, that a very much
greater antiquity, perhaps several thousand years, must be given
for the perfection of these plants up to the time when history

The finding of charred corn, beans, nuts and seeds of fruits,
and even the remains of dried fruit, in the subterranean store-
houses in various parts of the Baum Village, leads one to believe
that the early inhabitants were agriculturists enjoying a certain
degree of civilization. The most important product raised was
corn — Zea mays.* At the time of the discovery of America in
1492, corn was one of the staples of its agriculture, and was
found distributed from the La Plata Valley to almost every
portion of Central and Southern United States. The natives
living in this vast region had names for corn in their respec-
tive languages. A number of eminent botanists have made care-
ful explorations to find corn in the conditions of a wild plant,
but without success.

The corn unearthed in the village was always in the aban-
doned subterranean storehouses and invariably at the bottom of
the pit. When any quantity was found the charred lining of
the storehouse was present, which Hning frequently consisted
of long grass and sometimes bark. The corn, when found in

* The identification of the corn, beans, nuts and seeds from the
Baum Village was made by Professor J. H. Schaffer of the Dept. of
Botany, Ohio State University.

34 Explorations of the Bawm Prehistoric Fillage Site.

the ear, was laid in regular order, devoid of the husk, and con-
sisted of two varieties, an eight rowed and a ten-rowed variety.
The eight-rowed variety had a cob about half an inch in diam-
eter and short, while the cob of the ten-rowed variety was larger
and longer. The grains and cobs having been charred, were in
a good state of preservation.

In other pits the corn had been shelled and placed in a
woven bag and the charred, massed grains were removed in
large lumps with portions of the woven bag attached. There-
fore it seems reasonable to believe from the presence of so many
storehouses for the care and preservation of their most nutritious
agricultural product, that corn was the one staple upon which
prehistoric man depended to tide him through the cold winters,
and until the harvest came again.

Kidney Bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) — According to J. S. New-
berry, who published the first flora of the State (1859), the wild
bean occurs generally throughout the State. This bean is found
in abundance in the pits, sometimes mixed with shelled corn
and placed in a container, and sometimes placed in the store-
house along with nuts and dried fruit of the wild plum, and
was no doubt one of the agricultural products of aboriginal man
of the Baum Village Site. According to the latest discoveries,
in the Peruvian tombs of Ancon and other South American tombs,
the origin of the bean was perhaps in the intertropical Ameri-
can civilization, and no doubt spread northward to the Missis-
sippi Valley similar to maize. Beans were found also in the
storehouses at the Gartner Village,* and in some of the burials
of the Harness Mound explored in 1905. Three species of
hickory nuts were found in abundance in the storehouse. Hicoria
ovata (shell bark) was taken from almost every pit where the
shells were found. Some of the perfect, charred nuts were found
in the bottom of pits associated with corn and beans, but the
ashes thrown into the pits from their fire-places usually contained
many charred shells of this nut.

Hicoria minima (Bitter-nut) and Hicoria laciniosa were also
found in the ashes, but not so plentiful as the shell-bark.

* Explorations of the Gartner Mound and Village Site, Vol. XIII.

Explorations of the Bourn Prehistoric Village Site. 35

Butternuts (Juglans cinera) and Walnuts (Juglans nigra)
were both found in the perfect charred state in the storehouses
and the ashes from the fire-places contained many shells.

Papazv seed (Asiminan triloba) and Hazelnut ( Corylus amer-
icana) were also found in the bottom of the storehouse.

Chestnut (Castanea dentata) found in small quantities in var-
ious parts of the village.

I Wild Red Plum. (Prunis americanus) — The seeds were
found in the ashes and the charred remains of the fruit with seed
were taken from one of the storehouses.

Wild Grape (Vitis (op) ) was found sparingly in a few of
the pits.


Food, for the most part, both animal and vegetable,
was prepared by cooking, as evidenced by the large fire-
places, the innumerable pieces of broken pottery, and the mor-
tars and stone pestles used in crushing the corn, dried meats,
fruits and berries. The fireplace was always present within the
tepee, and several of them could always be found outside of the
tepee and in close proximity to it. The fireplaces often show re-
pair. When the hollow in the ground became too deep by long
use it was filled up to the proper depth by mud plaster. The
necessary precautions were not taken to remove all the ashes
from the fireplace before the plaster was applied, consequently
when the fire was again placed in the fireplace it soon cracked
loose, and portions of burned clay were removed with the ashes
from time to time as the fireplaces were cleaned, and the ashes
with the broken lining were thrown into the pits. The large
stone mortars, as shown in Fig. lo, were found in every section
of the Village, and were made from slabs of fine-grained sand-
stone, averaging in size from ten to fifteen inches in length, from
seven to twelve inches wide, and from four to seven inches in
thickness, with a depression on one side, in many cases only
about one inch deep, while in others the depression would be
several inches. The stone pestles used in crushing corn and
preparing food to be cooked, were not selected with any great
care nor was very much labor expended in their manufacture, as
many of them were merely natural pebbles, suitable as to size

ye Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site.

and weight, slightly changed by a little pecking or rubbing, while
others were natural flat and rounded pebbles, having a small de-
pression cut on each side. None of the bell-shaped pestles found
at the Gartner Village were found at the B'aum Village, although
the preparation of food products was the same.

The use of pottery in the preparation of food was universal.

Fig. 10 — Stone Mortar, fifteen inches long, twelve inches wide and five inches thicic, with
a cavity three inches in depth.

Everywhere in the village fragments of broken vessels, as shown
in Figs. II, 12 and 13, were found. Around the fireplaces both
in and out of the tepee, pottery fragments were always present,
showing that the pottery was broken while being used as a cook-
ing utensil. The large pieces were gathered up and thrown
into the open refuse pits near. at hand, and here we find them
quite often with particles of the charred food clinging to the
sides of the broken vessels. The potter's art seems to have been

Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site. 37

jj-jg 18 — Pottery fragment showing scroll decorations.

38 Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site.

known and practiced by each family group. They became ex-
pert in successfully tempering clay to strengthen it, and in then
carrying it through all the stages of modeling, ornamenting,-

Fig. 13 — Pottery fragments showing decorations and liandles.

drying, and at last burning. Referring to Fig. 14, found with
one of the burials, and which represents the highest type of fictile
firt found at thp Bajim Villagje, one can see th? result of the pro-

Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site. 39

Fig. 14-

gressive operations of a very delicate and difficult nature which
required skill, foresight, patience, and wide experience in the

Ceramic art to
*} i ■ ^SMSIKt^^^BiMMM^atimmmm^-^ produce such sym-
metry and grace
as is displayed in
this vessel. The
decorations were
those made by
textile markings,
and occur over
the entire surface
of the vessel. The
impressions were
no doubt made
with a paddle
around which
cords had been

• Restored Vase found with one of the burials (six Wrapped. The

and one-haif inches high). handles are dec-

orated by indentations. Fig. .15 represents a vessel taken from
another burial in the same family group. This vessel is also
symmetrically made and the
markings were made evi-
dently with a pliable cloth,
as they are uniform over the
entire surface, including the
handles. Fig. 16 shows a
vessel placed near the head
of the skeleton and which
has been broken by freezing,
as the burial was less than
twenty-eight inches deep.
Consequently all the pottery
found in the burials of the
Baum Village is more or less
broken, but by carefully pre-
serving the pieces, the ves-
sel may usually bp restorecj.


.. 15 — Restored Vase found with one of the
burials (five and one-half inches high).

40 Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site.

Fig. 17 is another restored vessel taken from the bottom of
one of the storehouses in another section of the Village. The
vessel had evidently been used as a container for grain and was
accidentally broken in the pit and left there. Fortunately we
secured all the pieces and were ably to fully restore the beau-
tiful vessel. It is the largest one that we have been able to
restore, although many others that were very much larger lacked
only a few pieces to fully restore thcni. The restored vessel

is nine inches high,
with a diameter of nine
and one-half inches at
the largest part of the

Fig. 18 is of a very
plain vessel taken from
a grave in another part
of the village. This,
vessel has also been re-
stored, and is seven
inches high and eight
inches in diameter at
the widest part of the
bowl. The vessel is
perfectly plain, which
is charac t e r i s t i c of
about all the pottery
fragments taken from
this particular family

Fig. 8 shows this
same vessel before it
was removed from the
grave. The skeleton is
headless, and the vessel is placed where the head should have
been when the body was placed in the grave.

Fig. 19 is another vessel found with a burial.'^ The vessel
was fully restored with the exception of a piece of the rim, which
had be?n brpk^p out bgfor? being placed jn the grave. The dec-

Fig. 16 — Burial with Vase placed at the head of
the grave.

Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site. 41

Fig. 17 — Restored Vase taken from one of the
refuse pits (nine inches high).

orations are textile markings, and the impressions are very pro-
nounced over the entire surface.

Fig. 20 shows very
small vessels which were
occasionally found in the
perfect state ; however,
the broken pieces were
found in every section of
the village. The smallest
of these vessels have the
appearance of having
been moulded over the
end of the finger, while
the largest is about the
size of a small teacup.
They were all rudely
made and undecorated.
Implements : The im-
plements used in the
chase and for domestic and agricultural purposes were found in
great numbers in the abandoned storehouses and the sites of the
tepees. For the most
part they were made
from bone and horn,
but implements made
from flint and grani-
tic bowlders were in
evidence in all sec-
tions of the village.
The implements used
for agricultural pur-
poses and for exca-
vating for the store-
houses were made for
the most part of large
mussel shells. Im-
plements made of

J J^.,Ut Fig. 18 — Restored Vase placed with one of the burials

wood were no doubt ^^even inches high).

42 Explorations of the Baum Prehistoric Village Site.

largely used, as charred remains of digging sticks and pieces of
wood that had been polished were frequently met with.

Stone Implements —
The largest of the
stone implements, with
the exception of the
stone mortars pre-
viously described, were
the grooved axes,
which were sparingly
found in the pits and
tepee sites, two speci-
mens having been
found during the en-
tire explorations, one
in a tepee site and
one in a refuse pit.
The stone axe found
in the tepee site is
shown in Fig. 21. It
is made of fine-grained blue granite rock, seven and one-fourth
inches long, three and one-fourth inches wide. The surface
shows the pecking, which .had not been entirely obliterated by

Fig, 19 — Partially restored vessel taken from a
grave (six and one-fourth inches high).

I'lG. 20 — Very small, perfect vessels, made of the same material as the larger
vessels (half size.)

the grinding and polishing necessary for its completion. An
interesting feature of this axe is the angle at which the groove

Explorations of the Bcmm Prehistoric Village Site. 43

is cut to the blade. This type
of axe is quite rare in Ohio,
and not over four specimens
are on exhibition in the mu-
seum of the Society. The
other axe found in one of
the pits is an entirely dif-
ferent type, the groove ex-
tending entirely around the
axe. It is made from the
same compact stone as the
axe described above, and is
finished much in the same

Celts — This most useful
implement was frequently
met with in all sections of the
village, and ranges in size
from two to six inches in

Fig. 21 — Rare type of grooved axe (length

seven and one-fourth inches, width

three and one-fourth inches).

length. All are finely polished.
Fig. 22 shows a typical celt found
in the village. The celts were made
for the most part from compact
granite bowlders ; others of banded
slate and flint. Specimens illus-
FiG. 22 - A typical celt of the vii- tratinff the varjous stages in the

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Online LibraryWilliam C. (William Corless) MillsExplorations of the Baum prehistoric village site → online text (page 2 of 6)