Join the Unexplained Mysteries community today! It's free and setting up an account only takes a moment.
- Sign In or Create Account -
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 12
Dr_Acula

"Giant" Native Tribes of Ancient America

303 posts in this topic

Introduction

If you are the type of person who cannot consider theories that conflict with established mainstream theories, you might find it hard to consider the theory this post suggests. I can only ask that you try to not be offended and to keep an open mind. If you disagree and you have an intelligent reason and a credible source you can share, please, feel free to join the debate. Also, please try to keep the comments respectful. There is no need to be hostile or offensive. This post is going to be a little lengthy and I am going to continually update it as the theory changes and more information is obtained, so it may in time become longer. If you can’t take the time to read all of it then there is no need for you to take the time to post a comment. You can find all of my source documentation at the end of the post.

New World Explorers (1496-1580)

In 1496 the Spanish settled a colony in Santo Domingo where the settlers mined for gold. The local Arawak-Lucayan natives, described as being tall, brown, statuesque people, with long, straight, black hair[1], were enslaved to work the mines and died of disease and overwork. Pedro de Salazar decided to search surrounding lands for more natives to enslave. Salazar's 1514-1516 voyage landed him between the coast of Georgia and Cape Fear[2] where he found a tribe of "tall Indians"[3]. Keep in mind, the Arawaks were already described as tall - these Georgia/Cape Fear natives were being described as taller than the Arawak-Lucayans[2], though I have yet to come across an actual recorded height for these people. This place was called "the Land of Giants"[2]. Salazar was only able to bring back a few of these giant natives to use as slaves but no more than that partly because the Spanish government outlawed raids in these areas[3]. Some people may be (logically) skeptical about a race of giant natives in Georgia in 1515. The notion seems a bit far-fetched, but I ask you to keep in mind that the average European height at the time was probably somewhere around 5.5 feet[4]. That means that if these natives were 7 feet or maybe even 6.5 feet tall, they would still appear to be giants.

Vespucci_on_the_island_of_giants.jpg

Amerigo Vespucci lands on the "Island of Giants". Engraving from c.1592 by Theodor de Bry (Flemish, 1528-1598).

Amerigo Vespucci, around 1499, landed on a South American Island, probably the island of Curacao[12]. He and his men set out looking for fresh water came upon some huts. Inside these huts were giant women who Vespucci decided to kidnap. Then 36 or more giant men showed up so he changed his mind and made for his ship. Vespucci called this place the Island of the Giants[13].

Lucas Vazquez de Ayllon was a Spanish explorer and one of the first to explore a small region of North America in hopes of establishing a Spanish settlement. In 1526 he landed in what is now South Carolina. Ayllon visited and recorded the customs of many native tribes in the area. One of these was a country called Duhare where the natives were white men. Their hair was brown and hung to their heels. They were governed by a king of gigantic size called Datha whose wife was as large as he was. There were other tribes in the area. Another country close to Duhare was called Xapida. In all of these areas the natives had herds of deer just as we have herds of cattle. They would milk the does and make cheese. All of their kings are of gigantic size. They had herbal doctors and all the natives seemed to be healthy and lived long lives. There is a ritual that they performed when a king would die that seemed to involve fireworks. When they were asked how all of the kings were of such a gigantic size they were given two answers. One: herbs were used to soften the bones of infants and their bones were physically stretched. Two: herbs were given to the future kings during puberty that caused them to grow so tall[5]. I ask you to continue to keep in mind that when these Europeans speak of “giants” they are most likely referring to simply tall people; people who are around 6.5 to 7 feet high. It’s very interesting that only the kings of these tribes were so tall, however, the way in which the kings became so tall is debatable. It is certainly possible that some type of herb was given to them early on in their lives to promote excelled growth, since both explanations involve herbs. One thing we can be confident in is that the kings were chosen at an early age, possibly even infancy. So, how else could they have known these people would grow so tall when observing them at such an early age? Though Ayllon did not find an entire tribe of giants as Salazar did, he did find giant kings. As for his settlement, it was a failure. Of the 500 men who he took with him, only 150 survived and they fled the settlement for Hispaniola, starving, sick and nearly dead.

patagonian-giants-1768-thumb.jpgpatagonians-byron-1773-thumb.jpg

Patagonian giants with European explorers

During his famous voyage in 1519-1522, Ferdinand Magellan encountered people of giant stature on the coasts of South America. The first was a single man with his face painted red with yellow circles around his eyes. This man was brought on board the ship and given gifts by Magellan. Apparently the Europeans only came up to around his waist. When he was brought back to the shore there were several of these people who were also invited to come aboard Magellan’s ship, which they accepted. Six days later they encountered another man of great stature who resembled the others. Later they encountered four more of these men who allegedly tried to lure them into a trap so Magellan and his men detained them. Magellan decided to keep the two youngest of them. He also decided to try to detain their wives in hopes of bringing a race of giants to Europe. The attempts to do so ended in a hostile encounter where the natives fled and Magellan and his men set fire to their huts. Magellan called these people Patagonians[8].

250px-De_Soto_by_Telfer_%26_Sartain.jpgTuskaloosa_HRoe_2002.jpg

Hernando de Soto (left) Tuskaloosa (right)

Explorer Hernando de Soto led the first deep exploration into what we now know as the United States in 1539. He encountered a giant Native American chief by the name of Tuscaloosa with a son just as tall. Apparently, the tallest men’s heads only reached the chest of the chief’s son[6]. This suggests that Tuscaloosa and his son were maybe 1.5 to 2 feet taller than the Europeans, which would make them 7 to 7.5 feet tall. De Soto ended up capturing Tuscaloosa when he refused to supply them with women. Tuscaloosa led de Soto and his men to a village called Malbia where a turn of events ended in a bloody battle. Tuscaloosa was killed along with all of the inhabitants of Malbia as it burned to the ground at the hands of de Soto and his men[7].

On his voyage of 1540-1542, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado explored New Mexico and other parts of what are now the southwestern United States. He and his men encountered a province of exceedingly tall and strong men, like giants. They are described as being able to carry hundreds of pounds easily[10].

Sir Francis Drake Encountered harmless and kind giants on his 1577-1580 voyage. Upon landing ashore, these tall natives saw that Drake and his crew were miserably weather beaten, so they fed them and gave them fresh water[9].

From 1496 to 1580 (actually into the 1700’s, however I am having trouble finding online sources to present so I have left these out) there were documented interactions between extraordinarily tall people in the Americas with early European explorers. We can rule out these interactions as being nothing more than legends because the documents I have referenced are of first-hand accounts. The documents were written by people who were actually on these voyages. It is possible that these explorers exaggerated the truth, which I personally find quite probable. I don’t think there were people who were twice the size of normal humans, as Magellan stated. I find it much more likely that those people were probably 7-8 feet tall, giving them the illusion of being giants to 5.5 foot tall Europeans[4].

19th Century Mound Exploration

pub_ove_mckees_mound.jpg

Mound Explorers

Now, let’s fast forward to the 1800’s. The United States was expanding; roads, towns and other buildings were being constructed. During this expansion there were many structures discovered called mounds in a large area from the Great Lakes to the Gulf of Mexico and from the Mississippi River to the Appalachian Mountains. This is when archaeology in the United States started to become organized. Most of the early American “archaeologists” were untrained people digging and exploring these mounds. Many of the mounds that were explored were ancient burials. Some of the explorations of these mounds by early amateur archaeologists have been referenced to in local county history books. Some people say that these accounts cannot be considered because 19th century local history books cannot be verified. However, these local history books tell of many skeletons being exhumed that measured 6.5-8 feet in length. Not every skeleton was this large and most of the time they were found among many regular sized skeletons. Here are just a few references:

Two skeletons not less than 6 and a half feet tall - "The History of Lawrence and Monroe Counties, Indiana"

Skeleton of "immense size" & Skeleton of "nearly seven feet" - "The History of Ashland County, Ohio"

Large skeleton who's "jaw-bone was found to fit easily over that of a citizen" - "The History of Morrow County and Ohio"

Graves of variable giants & gigantic skeletons with high cheek bones powerful jaws and massive frames - "The History of Brown County, Ohio"

Skeletons of persons of very large size, 6'3" skeleton exhumed & very large human skeleton - "The History of Licking County, Ohio"

Skeleton over 7 feet tall - "The History of Richland County, Ohio"

Skull of remarkable size - "The The History of Darke County, Ohio"

Skeleton 8 feet tall and others 7 feet tall - "History of Lake County, 1902"

As I said, these are only a few of the accounts in these old books. There are literally hundreds of them in several history books from several different areas. If you are interested in reading more, do some research; they’re easy to find.

giant+humans+skeleltons+with+horns+found+in+Pennsylvania.jpg

Old Newspaper Article

It is worth noting that newspapers of the same time period ran hundreds of articles about giant skeletons being exhumed from ancient mounds. Some people have argued that newspaper articles covered many hoaxes of similar accounts and were not at all reliable. As a result they suggest that because the history books wrote of large skeletons being found they must be as inaccurate as the newspapers, and maybe even borrowed these stories from the newspapers and therefore are not a reliable source. My thoughts on this argument are that there is absolutely no proof that newspaper articles influenced these history books. In fact it seems quite the opposite. The newspapers many times have to do with some amazing discovery of a lost race of giants with six toes and six fingers, double rows of teeth and sometimes even horns. These giants are described as to have been 10, 12, sometimes even 18 feet tall. But, when it comes to the history books, I have yet to find anything remotely as fantastical. In the history books 6.5-8 foot skeletons of otherwise normal people are usually mentioned briefly. Using the similarities in articles in old newspapers with the information in old history books to try and debunk the history books is like saying that giant squid legends were proof enough that the creatures didn’t exist. But we now know that giant squids do exist, just not as they were portrayed in legends. The only thing connecting the newspapers and history books is subject matter.

Where Are The Bones?

giant+human-Pennsylvania-mounds.jpgsanta+rosa+isalnd+giant+human+skeletons+measuring+over+7+feet+from+the+Santa+Barbara+Museum+of+Natural+History.gif

Alleged 8 foot mound builder skeleton (left)

The next argument is simply, where are the bones now? There are a few explanations as to where the bones are today. The bones in the mound excavations were so old and rotted that many of them crumbled when touched or exposed to air, which does happen - especially when there are amateurs who don’t know what they are doing. A lot of these remains were damaged or destroyed in this way according to the history books. Many of the amateur archaeologists were antiquarians and the bones were kept in their private collections. These bones were either lost or passed down to people who didn’t realize how important they were. Also, many universities have relics and skeletal remains from old mound excavations. They problem is, they don’t have them on display. You must have the proper credentials to examine these relics; not just anyone can walk in and start rummaging around.

Lastly, there is the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) which, because the mound builders were allegedly proven to be the ancestors of Native Americans by Cyrus Thomas, it is illegal to possess these bones. Any time Native American remains are found they are given to their Native American ancestors for re-burial. NAGPRA makes it a criminal offense to traffic in Native American human remains without right of possession or in Native American cultural items obtained in violation of the Act. Penalties for a first offense may reach 12 months imprisonment and a $100,000 fine. Taking this into consideration, it seems logical to come to the conclusion that if someone had possession of some old mound builder skeletons they would either get them back to their Native American legal owners or simply keep them hidden so as not to suffer the penalties.

KIdBc.Em.77.jpg

Mortimer Skeleton of Grumbles Alley

There is at least one alleged large mound builder skeleton that is known to exist. The story goes: it was exhumed by a farmer in the 1800’s who then traded it to a local doctor for medical treatment. Somehow the skeleton fell into possession of a night club owner and finally belongs to the owner of a restaurant next door to the night club. The skeleton supposedly measures somewhere around 7 feet and is on display at the restaurant “Grumbles Alley” in Selma, Alabama[11]. It has recently gotten some media attention and I expect it will be confinscated fairly soon to be transferred back to its Native American ancestors.

Myths, Legends and Non-Credible Information

Though I don’t want to use any myths or legends as a credible source, there are many Native American oral histories that tell of people who were already here when the Native Americans migrated here. Some of these legends actually describe them as giants. Food for thought.

My Theory

Here’s my theory: there may have been tribes of hereditarily large (7-8 ft) people who inhabited the Americas in the distant past (the original natives perhaps). Early settlers (the ancestors of the people we now call Native Americans) encountered these people. There were conflicts between the “giants” and the early settlers and ultimately the settlers drove the giants off and maybe even killed most of them. However, some of these so called giants were accepted into the settlers’ tribes and passed their genes to their children and so forth. That would explain the large mound builder skeletons among the regular sized ones. It would also explain the large kings and chiefs written about by early European explorers. The Patagonians that Magellan and other explorers encountered may have been what was left of the dying giant tribes who had been drove out of their land.

Source Material

[1] Arawak Indians – An Anguillan History

[2] The History of Beaufort County, South Carolina: 1514-1861, By Lawrence Sanders Rowland

[3] The Forgotten Centuries: Indians and Europeans in the American South, 1521-1704, edited by Charles M. Hudson, Carmen Chaves Tesser

[4] Richard Steckel, Ohio State University

[5] De Orbe Novo: The Eight Decades of Peter Martyr d'Anghera, Volume 2, By Pietro Martire d' Anghier

[6] Hernando De Soto, By Walter Malone

[7] Tuskaloosa (Wikipedia)

[8] To America and Around the World: The Logs of Christopher Columbus and Ferdinand Magellan, by Christopher Columbus and Antonio Pigafetta

[9] The World Encompassed by Sir Francis Drake, By Sir Francis Drake, Francis Fletcher, Francis Pretty, John Cooke, Nuno da Silva, Edward Cliffe, Lopo Vaz

[10] The Journey of Coronado, 1540-1542 By Pedro de Castañeda de Nájera, Francisco Vásquez de Coronado, Antonio de Mendoza, Antonio de Mendoza (conde de Tendilla), Juan Camilo Jaramillo

[11] Mortimer, the Infamous Skeleton of Grumbles Alley by Kristina Killgrove

[12] Some Observations on the Letters of Amerigo Vespucci By Manning Ferguson Force

[13] Letters of Amerigo Vespucci, and Other Documents Illustrative of His Career By Amerigo Vespucci

5 people like this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where can the public view these giant (over 7-feet) skeletons?

I lived around these mounds for over 20 years, and heard the rumors of giants. Even believed them myself for a while.

QUOTE: http://cityofsouthcharleston.com/indianmound.php no mention of the infamous giant

In 1883-84, the Smithsonian Institution sent Colonel P. W. Norris to the Kanawha Valley to make a complete study of the prehistoric mounds in the area.

QUOTE: http://www.wvencyclo...rg/articles/520

South Charleston Mound was first investigated by Col. P. W. Norris of the Smithsonian Institution as part of an extensive effort to identify the builders of the numerous earthworks located west of the Appalachian Mountains. Beginning in November 1883...

"Despite rumors that a seven-foot ‘‘giant’’ had been uncovered, Norris reported that all individuals buried in the mound were adults of medium size. All burials and artifacts excavated from the mound were taken to the Smithsonian Institution where they remain today.

QUOTE: http://www.athensnew...in-the-day.html

BRAD LEPPER, A CURATOR OF archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society, said Friday that most of what is known about the Allegewi comes from folklore from Delaware tribes who did battle with them and most likely portrayed their enemies in the most fearsome light possible. Defeating giants is much more impressive than if you defeat pygmies,” he said. “Oral traditions… can have a lot of information that’s not historically accurate.

Lepper also had a number of explanations for the elongated bones, the large tools and the newspaper accounts and county histories. He said, essentially, that if archeologists had evidence of giant skeletons, and actually had the skeletons themselves to show, there’s no reason why they wouldn’t let that information be open to the public.

“If we had bones of giants, we would put them on display,” he said. “Or certainly at least the artifacts and things. Just because it would get you on the cover of National Geographic to have evidence like that.”

He said the Hopewell did make some gigantic spear points, but it’s clear that they were symbolic, not functional, which he said is similar to a key to a city being presented in current times.

“We don’t have any giant-sized tools appropriate for some giant hunter to be using in their daily lives,” he said. “I’ve never heard of any reliable accounts of skeletons larger than maybe seven feet. We don’t have anything that big in our collection.”

Hopewell and Adena people averaged about 5’6” or 5’7”, he said.

As for why newspaper accounts might report skulls with double rows of teeth, Lepper said this is entirely possible.

“It shows up in all populations around the world as a very rare genetic mutation,” he said.

With regard to the “giant” skeletons found, Lepper pointed out that the accounts never tell of finding an average-sized person.

“It’s always either a giant or a pygmy,” he said. “I think that appeals to the sensational that people want to read about.”

He said that when amateurs excavate a burial they come up with unreliable estimates of the stature.

“As the soft tissue – the ligaments and muscle that attaches bones – decays, the bones can settle and spread out a little bit,” he said. “If you just measure where the bones are, you can get an inflated notion of how big somebody was.”

Edited by QuiteContrary
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Due to the length of the opening post I will only address a few issues here and there.

You mention Tuscaloosa. It seems that he is described as taller than the Spaniards, but also taller than the people he governed.

http://nativeamericanencyclopedia.com/the-great-chief-tuscaloosa/

He was taller than any of his people by more than a foot;

The Patagonians were not as tall as Magellan claimed. Drake reduces their height considerably.

http://libweb5.princeton.edu/visual_materials/maps/websites/pacific/magellan-strait/patgonian-giants.html

In all probability, these accounts were describing the Tehuelche Indians, native to the Patagonian area of Argentina, who are typically tall—but not monstrous giants.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Where can the public view these giant (over 7-feet) skeletons?

Refer to the section of my OP "Where Are The Bones?". I don't believe that very many of the skeletons survived the mistreatment of amateurs.

QUOTE: http://www.wvencyclo...rg/articles/520

South Charleston Mound was first investigated by Col. P. W. Norris of the Smithsonian Institution as part of an extensive effort to identify the builders of the numerous earthworks located west of the Appalachian Mountains. Beginning in November 1883...

"Despite rumors that a seven-foot ‘‘giant’’ had been uncovered, Norris reported that all individuals buried in the mound were adults of medium size.

Taken directly from the Annual Report of the Bureau of Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Volume 5, Parts 1883-1884, page 52 (just above the illustration describes the skeleton you are referring to:

The skeleton found lying in the middle of the floor of the vault was of unusually large size, "measuring 7 feet 6 inches in length and 19 inches between the shoulder sockets."

QUOTE: http://www.athensnew...in-the-day.html

BRAD LEPPER, A CURATOR OF archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society, said Friday that most of what is known about the Allegewi comes from folklore from Delaware tribes who did battle with them and most likely portrayed their enemies in the most fearsome light possible. Defeating giants is much more impressive than if you defeat pygmies,” he said. “Oral traditions… can have a lot of information that’s not historically accurate.

I agree, that's why I said I wasn't going to use Native American oral histories as a credible source of information.

As for why newspaper accounts might report skulls with double rows of teeth, Lepper said this is entirely possible.

“It shows up in all populations around the world as a very rare genetic mutation,” he said.

I also believe that a large percentage (if not all) of the old newspaper articles are false. I hinted toward that in my OP. The history books are what I am using as a good source of information. Even if some of the people were mis-measuring some of these skeletons, the annual Smithsonian reports even include these tall skeletons. Not just the one I referred to above either - look in some of the old Smithsonian reports and you will find them.

You mention Tuscaloosa. It seems that he is described as taller than the Spaniards, but also taller than the people he governed.

http://nativeamerica...ief-tuscaloosa/

Thanks, this is a good source to add to explain the height of Tuscaloosa.

The Patagonians were not as tall as Magellan claimed. Drake reduces their height considerably.

http://libweb5.princ...ian-giants.html

That seems like a very selective statement... Considering the information in your link: Drake actually reduces 10 feet to 7.5 feet, which falls directly in with what I said in my OP quoted below:

It is possible that these explorers exaggerated the truth, which I personally find quite probable. I don’t think there were people who were twice the size of normal humans, as Magellan stated. I find it much more likely that those people were probably 7-8 feet tall, giving them the illusion of being giants to 5.5 foot tall Europeans.

EDIT:

You can find the old Smithsonian reports here.

Edited by Dr_Acula
1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that around that period Europeans had lost some height, and that for reasons I do not know, from very approximately the begining of 17th century until end of 18th were on average only about 5' 5" or 165cm. We know that various Native Americans were over 6' or 183cm and would certainly, particulary if around 6' 2" or 6' 4", seem like "giants" to the diminutive Europeans of the day. And I think to go a bit further forward in time and take a poorly fed and unfit European from a dirty smelly 19th century industrial city, and set them beside a Crow or Sioux and it would be an uncomfortable comparision for Europeans.

Edited by Kaa-Tzik

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems that around that period Europeans had lost some height, and that for reasons I do not know, from very approximately the begiining of 17th century until end of 18th were on avaerage only about 5' 5" or 165cm. We know that various Native Americans were over 6' or 183cm and would certainly, particulary if around 6' 2" or 6' 4", seem like "giants" to the diminutive Europeans of the day.

Yes, that's what I am suggesting too. Except the skeletons I am referring to are between 6.5 and 8 feet tall, but the idea is the same: they aren't "a race of giants"; they are tribes of exceptionally tall people or exceptionally tall chiefs or kings especially when compared to 5.5 foot tall Europeans.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yes, that's what I am suggesting too. Except the skeletons I am referring to are between 6.5 and 8 feet tall, but the idea is the same: they aren't "a race of giants"; they are tribes of exceptionally tall people or exceptionally tall chiefs or kings especially when compared to 5.5 foot tall Europeans.

Lifestyle may have played an important role in this. I know more about native North Americans, and as I guess we all know, for all of their existance until the introduction of the horse they walked and ran everywhere. I just generally think they had a better and healthier way of living that showed in their physique.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Lifestyle may have played an important role in this. I know more about native North Americans, and as I guess we all know, for all of their existance until the introduction of the horse they walked and ran everywhere. I just generally think they had a better and healthier way of living that showed in their physique.

Not only physically healthier, but even mentally and spiritually healthier too. All of these combined would surely cause greater stature and longer, healthier life.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems acceptable that there were extraordinarily tall native Americans at the time of European arrival in teh New World. Of course, we must take the reports with a grain of salt, as people are prone for exageration, and as you mention yourself, for the short Europeans of that time, people over 6'' tall may already been seen as very tall.

As you now know, the average height of a population is realted not only to genetic factors, but also to environmental ones, such as diet and health during early childhood, so the presenence of many tall native American could suggest they had a very healthy way of life at the time, with little famine and disease, which could result from low population densites and a good adaptation to their natural surroundings.

However, I seriously doubt your suggetion that the "tall people" where original natives of the American continent, prior to the asian colonist now known as native Americans. There is no support, both archeological or even genetic as to the existance of human in America prior to the arrival of the asian colonists. In fact, they would have to be a different species of humans, if we accept the current theories on human expansion out of Africa in two distinct periods. Any people living in America prior to the Homo sapiens colonization from Asia would necessarily be descendents of the Homo erectus that had left Africa about half a million years ago and got as far as Asia and Europe.

Interesting post non the less. The reports from the Spanish conquistadors are quite interesting!

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, I called the Criel Mound "museum" years ago, and a woman told me there was a 7'6" skeleton found and taken to the Smithsonian. But was it?

“I’ve never heard of any reliable accounts of skeletons larger than maybe seven feet. We don’t have anything that big in our collection.” BRAD LEPPER, A CURATOR OF archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society"

These are obviously not some unusual "giants"

or as Lepper said “If we had bones of giants, we would put them on display,” he said. “Or certainly at least the artifacts and things. Just because it would get you on the cover of National Geographic to have evidence like that.”

“There is no peer reviewed or archaeological evidence,” she said. “Lenape lore says the Allegawi they encountered were tall, but not giants.” Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian spokesperson Eileen Maxwell

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It seems acceptable that there were extraordinarily tall native Americans at the time of European arrival in teh New World. Of course, we must take the reports with a grain of salt, as people are prone for exageration, and as you mention yourself, for the short Europeans of that time, people over 6'' tall may already been seen as very tall.

As you now know, the average height of a population is realted not only to genetic factors, but also to environmental ones, such as diet and health during early childhood, so the presenence of many tall native American could suggest they had a very healthy way of life at the time, with little famine and disease, which could result from low population densites and a good adaptation to their natural surroundings.

However, I seriously doubt your suggetion that the "tall people" where original natives of the American continent, prior to the asian colonist now known as native Americans. There is no support, both archeological or even genetic as to the existance of human in America prior to the arrival of the asian colonists. In fact, they would have to be a different species of humans, if we accept the current theories on human expansion out of Africa in two distinct periods. Any people living in America prior to the Homo sapiens colonization from Asia would necessarily be descendents of the Homo erectus that had left Africa about half a million years ago and got as far as Asia and Europe.

Interesting post non the less. The reports from the Spanish conquistadors are quite interesting!

You make nice, valid points. However, my theory is based on an understanding of alternative human migration theories. There is actually a nice thread where it is being discussed here. It is suggested that there is evidence to back up pre-Clovis theories. The thing we need to keep in mind is that nothing is certain when dealing with theories. It is not the best practice to accept a theory as fact, because they aren't facts. I tend to never accept anything at face value. I need to understand why a theory exists and the proof behind. I never just accept something just on the basis of it being popular belief; I need to see and understand the evidence. I always try to take alternative theories into account because they are usually not any less believable or intelligent than mainstream beliefs.

Sure, I called the Criel Mound "museum" years ago, and a woman told me there was a 7'6" skeleton found and taken to the Smithsonian. But was it?

Well, if you called the museum and they confirmed it, and even the original records in the Smithsonian report written by the Smithsonian confirms it, why would you ask "but was it?" I'm not really understanding the logic behind that.

“I’ve never heard of any reliable accounts of skeletons larger than maybe seven feet. We don’t have anything that big in our collection.” BRAD LEPPER, A CURATOR OF archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society"

Okay, so he has never heard of any reliable accounts, but has this man ever tried to find any reliable information concerning this? If he isn't pursuing information he's not going to find it or hear of it. The collection at the Ohio Historical Society doesn't have anything that size. That doesn't mean they don't and/or never did exist anywhere.

or as Lepper said “If we had bones of giants, we would put them on display,” he said. “Or certainly at least the artifacts and things. Just because it would get you on the cover of National Geographic to have evidence like that.”

I'm not suggesting that Lepper is hiding anything. He is probably telling the truth: he has never seen them, he has never found reliable info on them. And if these bones have been destroyed by early amateurs or hidden by private collectors who fear the consequences of violating the NAGPRA, he probably never will.

“There is no peer reviewed or archaeological evidence,” she said. “Lenape lore says the Allegawi they encountered were tall, but not giants.” Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian spokesperson Eileen Maxwell

I think there is a misunderstanding here: I'm not claiming that giants existed as a race. I'm suggesting that unusually tall (7-8 foot) people possibly did.

QUOTE: http://www.wvencyclo...rg/articles/520

South Charleston Mound was first investigated by Col. P. W. Norris of the Smithsonian Institution as part of an extensive effort to identify the builders of the numerous earthworks located west of the Appalachian Mountains. Beginning in November 1883...

"Despite rumors that a seven-foot ‘‘giant’’ had been uncovered, Norris reported that all individuals buried in the mound were adults of medium size."

This is actually very interesting to me. Why would the records of the 7 foot 6 inch skeleton exist in the Smithsonian report by Norris if "all individuals buried in the mound were adults of medium size"?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"But was it?"

Because no one who ever brings up this idea of giants in the burial mounds has ever given any up-to-date evidence or present-day confirmation from the Smithsonian where (at least) this particular skeleton is housed.

The Annual Report simply restates his findings, his descriptions. Once the skeleton was examined at the Smithsonian, then, what were the findings?

Even if the skeleton was indeed 7some-feet tall, this height was not unheard of as Lepper stated.

Has there been any mainstream theorizing or interest in a giant race due to the 7-foot skeletons or any other evidence?

Lepper already stated that giant spears points were symbolic not functional. What out-of-the-ordinary evidence would a race of giants have left behind?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
That seems like a very selective statement... Considering the information in your link: Drake actually reduces 10 feet to 7.5 feet, which falls directly in with what I said in my OP quoted below:

Magellan claimed 10 foot people. Drake reduced that. Later groups reduced the height even more. In fact, the people are known today and tend to be tall.

I was directly addressing your statements about Magellan's statements and not continuing on about the other explorers. If we do we can look up the Tehuelche Indians and learn about them. What is interesting is occasional references to them being tall, but nowhere do I see mention of their mean height. It suggests to me that they are tall, but not average 7 feet or taller. One place mentioned they were in the range of 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 4 inches.

Here is an 1868 report which makes it clear that the people are not giants.

http://www.jstor.org/stable/3014362?seq=1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"But was it?"

Because no one who ever brings up this idea of giants in the burial mounds has ever given any up-to-date evidence or present-day confirmation from the Smithsonian where (at least) this particular skeleton is housed.

Because the evidence was dug up in the past. It's not in the ground anymore and no one can seem to figure out what happened to it. That doesn't mean it didn't exist. There are records of it existing which I have provided and you yourself said that you called the museum and they confirmed it's existence.

The Annual Report simply restates his findings, his descriptions. Once the skeleton was examined at the Smithsonian, then, what were the findings?

If I could get my hands on a copy f their findings that would solve this little debate. I wonder how difficult that would be?

Even if the skeleton was indeed 7some-feet tall, this height was not unheard of as Lepper stated.

Has there been any mainstream theorizing or interest in a giant race due to the 7-foot skeletons or any other evidence?

Lepper already stated that giant spears points were symbolic not functional. What out-of-the-ordinary evidence would a race of giants have left behind?

Did you read my previous reply?

I'm not claiming that giants existed as a race. I'm suggesting that unusually tall (7-8 feet) people possibly did.

I've said that I'm not claiming the existence of a race of giants more than once in my posts. You seem to be completely overlooking it. I agree that 7-8 feet is not completely unheard of, which I have also suggested in my previous posts, but it is unusual.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Later groups reduced the height even more.

Can you provide a source to this please? No offense but I can't just go off your word and I don't expect anyone to do that for me either.

I was directly addressing your statements about Magellan's statements and not continuing on about the other explorers. If we do we can look up the Tehuelche Indians and learn about them. What is interesting is occasional references to them being tall, but nowhere do I see mention of their mean height. It suggests to me that they are tall, but not average 7 feet or taller. One place mentioned they were in the range of 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 4 inches.

It would be odd for strange people to land ashore and start measuring an entire tribe of natives.... lol. They couldn't orally communicate, and probably didn't want to offend, frighten or anger them. So, no, they probably didn't measure them. Also, again, could you provide source to any of this?

Here is an 1868 report which makes it clear that the people are not giants.

http://www.jstor.org...e/3014362?seq=1

That report was written almost 300 years later... Things can change drastically in a fraction of that. Also, I think we can all agree that the quality of life of the natives got increasingly worse after the arrival of Europeans (along with European diseases). If the quality of life, health, mental state, etc... has an impact on stature I'm sure 300 years would have made quite an impact.

Edited by Dr_Acula

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...

That report was written almost 300 years later... Things can change drastically in a fraction of that. Also, I think we can all agree that the quality of life of the natives got increasingly worse after the arrival of Europeans (along with European diseases). If the quality of life, health, mental state, etc... has an impact on stature I'm sure 300 years would have made quite an impact.

I would agree, but to a much more modest extent. For instance, today, in 2013, the average man is 5'9." A hundred years ago an average man was a little over 5'8" (interesting page). So in the past century the average male has grown around 1.5" taller, which is a noticeable change but nothing astounding. It's interesting that the average prepubescent child today is a lot taller than his or her equivalent a century ago, but growth tends to level out at around age 21. Given these facts, I rather doubt that any population of humans has grown or shrunk in the past several centuries by two or more feet.

Dr_Acula, have you contacted or researched the collections of the Smithsonian? This is the largest holding of skeletal human remains in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world. What information might they have?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You make nice, valid points. However, my theory is based on an understanding of alternative human migration theories. There is actually a nice thread where it is being discussed here. It is suggested that there is evidence to back up pre-Clovis theories. The thing we need to keep in mind is that nothing is certain when dealing with theories. It is not the best practice to accept a theory as fact, because they aren't facts. I tend to never accept anything at face value. I need to understand why a theory exists and the proof behind. I never just accept something just on the basis of it being popular belief; I need to see and understand the evidence. I always try to take alternative theories into account because they are usually not any less believable or intelligent than mainstream beliefs.

Just a cautionary note here, a scientific theory is not the same thing as its non-scientific (common) application, as explained here:

A scientific theory summarizes a hypothesis or group of hypotheses that have been supported with repeated testing. If enough evidence accumulates to support a hypothesis, it moves to the next step—known as a theory—in the scientific method and becomes accepted as a valid explanation of a phenomenon.

and

When used in non-scientific context, the word “theory” implies that something is unproven or speculative.

http://www.livescien...-of-theory.html

cormac

Edited by cormac mac airt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would agree, but to a much more modest extent. For instance, today, in 2013, the average man is 5'9." A hundred years ago an average man was a little over 5'8" (interesting page). So in the past century the average male has grown around 1.5" taller, which is a noticeable change but nothing astounding. It's interesting that the average prepubescent child today is a lot taller than his or her equivalent a century ago, but growth tends to level out at around age 21. Given these facts, I rather doubt that any population of humans has grown or shrunk in the past several centuries by two or more feet.

Dr_Acula, have you contacted or researched the collections of the Smithsonian? This is the largest holding of skeletal human remains in the Western Hemisphere, if not the world. What information might they have?

The only problem with that is that in the last 100 years, North Americans haven't suffered genocide, disease and slavery. All three of these can drastically effect mental and physical health which can in theory effect stature.

I have been researching the Smithsonian annual reports, but so far that is as far as my research has gotten in the direction of the Smithsonian. I'm at the moment comparing two reports of the same mound exploration (Charleston/Criel Mound). It appears that Cyrus Thomas has an almost completely different report than Col. Norris. I'm trying to find out why. I suppose that contacting the Smithsonian would be a good idea but I won't have a chance to go there myself for quite some time as I am unable to travel.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just a cautionary note here, a scientific theory is not the same thing as its non-scientific (common) application, as explained here:

and

http://www.livescien...-of-theory.html

cormac

Would you say I am using the word theory in the wrong context?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you say I am using the word theory in the wrong context?

I can't speak to your intent, just to the blanket statement you made, hence the cautionary note. If you meant it in the scientific sense then you'd be wrong, if the common sense then you'd likely be right. But your wording doesn't suggest a distinction between the two although one exists.

cormac

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can you provide a source to this please? No offense but I can't just go off your word and I don't expect anyone to do that for me either.

It would be odd for strange people to land ashore and start measuring an entire tribe of natives.... lol. They couldn't orally communicate, and probably didn't want to offend, frighten or anger them. So, no, they probably didn't measure them. Also, again, could you provide source to any of this?

That report was written almost 300 years later... Things can change drastically in a fraction of that. Also, I think we can all agree that the quality of life of the natives got increasingly worse after the arrival of Europeans (along with European diseases). If the quality of life, health, mental state, etc... has an impact on stature I'm sure 300 years would have made quite an impact.

I did provide a link to that information and a link to that as well, the link from Princeton.

It seems that nothing has changed except as that report states there are no giants in that area and no people averaging 7 feet tall. Do you actually think that a human population of 7 footers can become normal sized in 300 years? The fact is that the heights provided by Magellan were incredibly exaggerated. Drake continued that even if he reduced the height considerably. The fanciful tales have given way to people that are tall, but not that tall.

As noted earlier Tuscaloosa was tall compared to everyone around him save for his son. So there no giants there, just 2 tall related people.

In these 2 cases we do not have a race of very tall people. We have 2 tall people and a group that was taller than the Europeans that encountered them.

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can't speak to your intent, just to the blanket statement you made, hence the cautionary note. If you meant it in the scientific sense then you'd be wrong, if the common sense then you'd likely be right. But your wording doesn't suggest a distinction between the two although one exists.

cormac

Well then, lets figure it out. Are you suggesting that alternative human migration theories or pre-Clovis theories aren't scientific theories? Those are the only ones I mentioned aside from a general mention of alternative theories.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well then, lets figure it out. Are you suggesting that alternative human migration theories or pre-Clovis theories aren't scientific theories? Those are the only ones I mentioned aside from a general mention of alternative theories.

I'm not questioning your use of scientific theories but your blanket statement that theories are not facts as well as calling what you have a theory. As mentioned previously and in regards to the blanket statement in the scientific sense this wouldn't be true while in the commonly used sense it would likely be true. And what you have, based on other theories as you've said, would more appropriately be called an hypothesis IMO.

cormac

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did provide a link to that information and a link to that as well, the link from Princeton.

It seems that nothing has changed except as that report states there are no giants in that area and no people averaging 7 feet tall. Do you actually think that a human population of 7 footers can become normal sized in 300 years? The fact is that the heights provided by Magellan were incredibly exaggerated. Drake continued that even if he reduced the height considerably. The fanciful tales have given way to people that are tall, but not that tall.

As noted earlier Tuscaloosa was tall compared to everyone around him save for his son. So there no giants there, just 2 tall related people.

In these 2 cases we do not have a race of very tall people. We have 2 tall people and a group that was taller than the Europeans that encountered them.

Sorry, I didn't realize at the time that you were referencing that link.

I think that if the Pataginians were 6.5-7 feet tall that it might be possible for them to be 5.5-6 feet tall 300 years later after suffering European disease, genocide and slavery.

People keep referencing a race of giants and I seem to have to continue to say this: I am not suggesting a race of giants. I am suggesting that tribes of genetically tall people may have existed. And I never said that Tuscaloosa's entire tribe were tall; I said that he and his son were just as you said. Read it in my OP.

I'm not questioning your use of scientific theories but your blanket statement that theories are not facts as well as calling what you have a theory. As mentioned previously and in regards to the blanket statement in the scientific sense this wouldn't be true while in the commonly used sense it would likely be true. And what you have, based on other theories as you've said, would more appropriately be called an hypothesis IMO.

cormac

Theories are not facts.

Also, i think you are getting way too technical with word usage. I'm sure everyone understands everything as it is meant to come across. This is a topic posted on an Internet forum, nothing more. I'm just putting forth my idea/theory/hypothesis for others to discuss and debate.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

~SNIP~

Theories are not facts.

Also, i think you are getting way too technical with word usage. I'm sure everyone understands everything as it is meant to come across. This is a topic posted on an Internet forum, nothing more. I'm just putting forth my idea/theory/hypothesis for others to discuss and debate.

Which shows that you don't understanding the distinction between its use in a scientific context and its common usage. And yes, a scientific theory can be a fact. An example being 'evolutionary theory'. Sorry to hear you didn't know that.

Most of us know the distinction between the two usages of the word. I was just pointing it out.

cormac

1 person likes this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  
Followers 12

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.