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Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Particularly of the Georgia Tribes

Written by Charles C. Jones and edited with an introduciton by Frank T. Schnell

Publication Year: 1999

A Dan Josselyn Memorial Publication

This reissue of Charles Jones's classic investigations of the Mound Builders will be an invaluable resource for archaeologists today.

Long a classic of southeastern archaeology, Charles Jones'sAntiquities of the Southern Indians was a groundbreaking work that linked historic tribes with prehistoric "antiquities." Published in 1873, it predated the work of Cyrus Thomas and Clarence Moore and remains a rich resource for modern scholars.

Jones was a pioneer of archaeology who not only excavated important sites but also related his findings to other sites, to contemporary Indians, and to artifacts from other areas. His work covers all of the southeastern states, from Virginia to Louisiana, and is noted for its insights into the De Soto expedition and the history of the Creek Indians.

Best known for refuting the popular myth of the Mound Builders, Jones proposed a connection between living Native Americans of the 1800s and the prehistoric peoples who had created the Southeast's large earthen mounds. His early research and culture comparisons led to the eventual demise of the Mound Builder myth.

For this reissue of Jones's book, a new introduction by Frank Schnell places Jones's work in the context of his times and relates it to current research in the Southeast. An engagingly written work enhanced by numerous maps and engravings, Antiquities of the Southern Indians will serve today's scholars and fascinate all readers interested in the region's prehistory.

Frank T. Schnell Jr. is an Archaeologist and Historian at the Columbus Museum in Columbus, Georgia.

Published by: The University of Alabama Press

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. v

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pp. vii-xxviii

In 1906, a young boy visited the Stalling's Island site on the Savannah River just north of Augusta, Georgia. He had been inspired to visit the site after reading what he called an "eloquent eulogy of the mound" in Antiquities of the Southern Indians, Particularly of the Georgia Tribes, by Charles Colcock Jones, Jr. (Claflin 1931:3). ...


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pp. xxix-xxxi

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pp. xxxvii-xxxix

Although the title intimates that our investigations have been directed principally to an examination of the antiquities of a single State, the present work will be found to embrace within its scope a much more extended field of observation. In prosecuting the proposed inquiries, it appeared both unnecessary ...


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pp. xli-xliii


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pp. xlv-xlviii

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pp. 1-27

By letters patent, dated the 9th of June, 1732, King George II. incorporated the trustees for establishing the colony of Georgia in America, and conveyed to them and their successors "seven-eighths of all that territory lying between the Savannah and Alatamaha Rivers, and westwardly from the heads of the said rivers ...

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pp. 28-64

Another important person in every community was the CONJURER, who generally united in himself the offices of priest, physician, and fortune-teller. He was supposed to possess unusual powers because of his constant communion with and influence over evil spirits. Various and extravagant were his incantations, ...

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pp. 65-89

The customs obtaining among the Creeks about the close of the last century, with respect to MARRIAGE and DIVORCE, are thus detailed by Colonel Hawkins:1 The suitor never applies in person, but sends his sister: mother or other female relative, to the female relations of the woman he desires to secure as his wife. ...

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pp. 90-117

The Southern Indians were much addicted to GAMES, DIVERSIONS, FESTIVALS, and DANCING. It has been quaintly remarked that man is the only animal that laughs, and we find in all ages, and among all peoples, how limited soever their resources, or narrow their avenues to pleasure, special attention has ever been paid ...

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pp. 118-135

What Sir Thomas Browne1 quaintly styles "the restless inquietude for the diuturnity of our memories," an ambitious desire to wrest from oblivion the names and graves of such as were famed for feats of arms or remarkable for some individual excellence, an appreciation of the fact that in the tomb of the dead hero ...

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pp. 136-157

The first we shall notice are located upon the right bank of the Etowah River, on the plantation of Colonel Lewis Tumlin, a few miles from Cartersville, in Bartow County. Viewed as a whole, this group is the most renlarkable within the confines of the State. These mounds are situated in the midst of a beautiful and fertile valley. ...

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pp. 158-177

Of the mounds on the left bank of the Ocmulgee River, opposite the city of Macon, the largest auel most noteworthy (A, Plate IV.), lying farthest down the river, is located upon the summit of a natural hill, and occupies a commanding position. The earth of which it is composed was gathered in the valley and conveyed ...

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pp. 178-194

Responding to certain inquiries (propounded in all likelihood by Dr. B. S. Barton) touching his personal observation of the customs, government, and antiquities of the Creek and Cherokee Indians, Mr. William Bartram furnished the following plan and description of the CHUNKY-YARDS (see p. 179). ...

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pp. 195-212

We turn now to the shell-mounds. It is not an exaggeration to say that some of the islands and localities bordering upon the salt-water are hoary with these tumuli. Many are burial-mounds, while vast numbers of them are little more than the refusepiles accumulated, during the lapse of years, about the Indian settlements. ...

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pp. 213-239

In the upper part of Nacoochee Valley, and near its western extremity, is a prominent earth-mound. Located not far from the Chattahoochee River, and rising some twenty feet or more above the surface of the surrounding valley, it has long Constituted a marked feature in this beautiful region. ...

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pp. 240-268

Of all the various stone implements evidencing the handiwork of primitive man, by far the most numerous, and perhaps not the least interesting, are the arrow and spear heads. So general is the distribution of these instruments of war and of venery, not only throughout the length and breadth of vast continents, ...

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pp. 269-295

Ignorant of the uses of iron—that most valuable of all metals—the Southern Indians in their agricultural, mechanical, and warlike pursuits, were driven to great shifts to supply the deficiency. In this attempt stone, wood, bone, shell, and copper to a limited extent, were employed. ...

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pp. 296-320

Although in the mythology of the red-men of the South the beneficent Ceres, who first taught mortals how to turn the soil with a plough,1 received no individual deification, they were not insensible of her benignant influences, ever present in the genial warmth of bright skies, engendering fertility in the soft earth ...

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pp. 321-340

Before the axe of the European was lifted against the primeval trees, or that system of drainage and denudation inaugurated by which large tracts of densely wooded lands have been gradually converted into cultivated fields and the pleasant sites of cities and villages, swamps, meadows, and forests, abounded ...

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pp. 341-358

In his most interesting and valuable historical sketch of Germany, Tacitus1 mentions the fact that the ancient Germans were so passionately addicted to a game of chance that, when all their property had been gambled away, the desperate players would hazard upon a final throw even their personal liberty. ...

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pp. 359-365

The tube, of which Fig. 1, Plate XXI., is a clever representation, was found in a small burial-mound in Burke County. It is made of serpentine, is thirteen inches and a quarter in length, and weighs three pounds and a half avoirdupois. The bore at one end is circular, and an inch and three-eighths in diameter. ...

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pp. 366-382

At a large hunting-camp, which had been abandoned by the Indians, Captain Romans1 noticed "some stones deeply marked by the savages with some uncouth marks, but most of them straight lines and crossed." He conjectured that they had been used for grinding awls. The only means the natives possessed of restoring an edge ...

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pp. 383-412

The pipes of the North American Indians possess an importance, both traditional and historic, which, elevating them above the category of ordinary relics, claims for them a moral, religious, and political value, which must be duly appreciated in forming a suitable estimate of their office ...

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pp. 413-440

The history of idol-worship—from its most degraded expression in the Fetichism of Congo, through all its modified forms up to its most elaborate development in the states of ancient Greece and Rome—is both curious and interesting. The stocks and stones and the senseless images of the ulllearned and the base have perished ...

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pp. 441-466

It has been truthfully remarked that articles of fictile ware are at once the most fragile and the most enduring of human monuments. A piece of common pottery, liable to be shivered to pieces by a slight blow, is more lasting than epitaphs in brass and effigies in bronze. These yield to the varying action of the weather; ...

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pp. 467-494

In the concession made by the King of Spain to Hernando de Soto of the government of Cuba and conquest of Florida, with the title of Adelantado, one-fifth of all the gold and silver, stones and pearls, won in battle or on entering towns, or obtained by barter with the Indians, was reserved to the crown. ...

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pp. 495-525

Among the many relics which, escaping the disintegrating influences of time and inherent decay, bear present testimony to the fact that in former times they answered various artificial uses and were freely exchanged in traffic among the Southern Indians, few are more widely distributed then those made of shell. ...


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pp. 526-527


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pp. 528-534

E-ISBN-13: 9780817384074
Print-ISBN-13: 9780817310042

Page Count: 644
Publication Year: 1999

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Subject Headings

  • Indians of North America -- Georgia -- Antiquities.
  • Georgia -- Antiquities.
  • Indians of North America -- Southern States -- Antiquities.
  • Southern States -- Antiquities.
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