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The Wesleyan University Collection of Antiquities of Tennessee and  Some Mounds of Eastern Tennessee

Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Council of Americanists, Washington, 1915

George Grant MacCurdy - 1917

 Gustav's Library Vintage Reprint

Two rare articles from the Proceedings of the Nineteenth International Council of Americanists.


The Wesleyan University Collection of Antiquities of Tennessee

Archeologically as well as geographically Tennessee is a part of the great Mississippi basin. It is intimately bound to Alabama on the south and to Kentucky on the north by two large rivers, and by lesser streams to Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, and Mississippi. The chief river is the Tennessee. Just below Chattanooga it almost reaches the northern boundary of Georgia, but makes instead a sudden turn to the north, forming Moccasin bend. Immediately to the north of the Moccasin's heel and some five miles by water below Chattanooga is a large island in the river called Williams island, a spindle-shaped piece of land about two miles long by more than half a mile wide. It belongs to the Hampton estate. The collection in question is said to have come almost wholly from this island and largely from a single mound.
The collection was bought for Wesleyan University by Mr A. R. Crittenden of Middletown, Connecticut, while on a trip to a Grand Army Encampment at Louisville, Kentucky, followed by excursions in Georgia and Tennessee to the battlefields of Chickamauga, Lookout mountain, and Missionary ridge, in September, 1895. Going up Missionary ridge on a newly-made road, Mr Crittenden discovered an arrowhead and a spearhead that had been turned out by the workmen. This led to inquiries which finally brought him in contact with Mr George D. Barnes of Chattanooga, from whom the collection of several thousand specimens was purchased.


Some Mounds of Eastern Tennessee

About forty-five years ago the Reverend E. O. Dunning, of New Haven, spent two or three seasons in excavating certain ancient mounds of eastern Tennessee. Part of this work was under the auspices of Peabody Museum of Yale University, and part under those of Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University. Mr Dunning generously contributed toward the enterprise not only his time but also a part of his personal expenses. Brief mention of his explorations and the collections he obtained is made in the Fifth Annual Report of the Sheffield Scientific School of Yale College, and in the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Annual Reports of the Peabody Museum at Harvard. Dunning does not seem to have left any notebooks or drawings and plans as a result of his field work. The original documents bearing thereon are thus confined to the specimens and to his letters preserved at the Harvard and Yale museums. Some of the shell gorgets in the Harvard collection were figured by Holmes.
Dunning's explorations covered parts of Knox, Jefferson, Hamblen, Greene, Marion, and Cocke counties, but were confined chiefly to the Brakebill, McBee, Lisle, Lick Creek, and Turner's mounds, also a shell-mound thirty-five miles west of Chattanooga. Only the first three of these are represented in the collections at Yale, and to them the present paper will be confined.

This 8-1/2" x 11", 64 page, soft cover, facsimile reprint is  profusely illustrated with plates and in-text illustrations .  $10.95   


Shell Necklace Shell Gorget Shell Necklace

Stone Cylinder and Pitted Stone


Pipes and Pottery

Sample  Plates - click on image to enlarge