The Adena People and Prehistoric Colonization of North America
European scholars have noted evidence of ancient colonization of North America. After studying American Mounds and Earthworks, Dr C.A. Adolph Zestermann (Leipzig) wrote in 1851:
“I can find no other explanation other than a gradual migration of a portion of the human family from one part of the world to another-from one hemisphere to the other. In short, I see in it a colonization of America, by means of an immigration from Europe.” 16
Unique cranial features of Adena people shared with European Beaker people
William S Webb and Charles Snow devoted considerable space to analysis of the large, high-vaulted crania of the Adena people of North America:
“Approximately 89% (31 of 35) of the adult males, 92 % (22 of 24) of the adult females are brachycephalic.” 1
“The forehead is typically a prominent one, bordered below by fairly sizeable brow ridges. The root of the nose is of average proportions and continues on to a prominent convex bridge that is one of the prominent features of the face. The characteristic bulge of the upper and lower jaws (alveolar prognathism) is moderate in projection…Usually the cheek bones are not only of large size in themselves but they have a forward and lateral prominence…” 2
Snow felt that these traits, along with the “great width of the bony chin” distinguished Adena from their predecessors and contemporaries. 2
The Adena practiced artificial deformation of the occipital region, enhancing their large congenital features. Webb and Snow noted that Adena skulls were “the highest known in the world” 2 with an average index of 89.5, while the deformed skulls reached as high as 100a2.
The characteristics of the Beaker People are virtually identical to Adena. Carlton Stephen Coons:
“Where Bell Beaker burials are found in central Europe, the skeletons are almost always of the same tall brachycephalic type…”
“…the browridges are often heavy, the general ruggedness frequently greater. The faces are characteristically narrow, the orbits medium to high, the nasal skeleton high and aquiline; the occiput frequently flat.”
“They form one of the rare groups in the world with a cranial length of 184mm and an index of over 80.” 3
William Boyd Dawkins described the beakers’ brachycephalic crania as having “strongly marked” ridges, “high and broad” cheek bones, and jaws “presenting prognathism”, 4 while Burkett described “large teeth” in the “powerful” lower jaw. 5
The Beaker People practiced the same type of occipital cranial deformation as Adena:
“…there is also generally an occipital flattening which may have been caused by the use of an unyielding cradle board...” 4
“One usual normal form of these crania is brachycephalic, and that decidedly so…and it is too obvious to need remark, that the mode of nursing would heighten this brachycephalism.” 6
Brachycephalic Beaker skull from the Natural History Review, 1862. Courtesy Archive.org.
Besides these similarities, Neolithic and Bronze Age burials in Europe have yielded very large skeletons similar to those often found in Adena Mounds.
A truly gigantic specimen has been documented from Castelnau-le-Lez, Southern France. In 1890, while excavating the Neolithic strata of a burial mound, Georges de Lapouge discovered the humerus, tibia, and femoral shaft of an individual he estimated to be between 11 and 12 feet tall. Lapauge’s conclusions were officially published in La Nature, Vol 18 (888) along with an image of the bones with a normal size humerous. 7
“I think it unnecessary to note that these bones are undeniably human, despite their enormous size…The subject would have been a likely size of 3m, 50.”
Significantly, these remains were studied by several of Lapouge’s contemporaries, who agreed that these were indeed the bones of a giant human, as reported in The August, 1890 issue of Popular Science. 8
Bones of the Giant of Castelnau in La Nature, 1890. Courtesy of Wikipedia.org
In 1918, at Surrey, England, the “giant” skeleton of a man of “unusual stature” was found in a “perfect state of preservation”. 9 At the Woodyates barrow group in Wiltshire, Richard Colt Hoare unearthed a “large skeleton” and another of a “tall and stout man”. 10 In 1833, a “skeleton laid at full length within a rude cist”, was discovered at Port Seaton, Scotland. Measurements “indicated the remains of a man nearly seven feet high.” 11
The discovery of gigantic skeletons in several caves around the U.S. has been a popular subject in recent years. Less known are the documented finds on record from the dark zone in Europe.
In the late 1800s, a series of unusual remains were found at the Mentone Caves on the coast of Italy. The skeletons were the subject of an article in the November, 1895 issue of popular Science. According to the article, in 1884 a male skeleton “of gigantic size, being six feet and nine and a half inches in height…” was found. In 1892 three more skeletons were found, two of which measured “6 feet 6 inches and a half”, while the third was “ six feet ten inches and a half” estimated to stand “about seven feet four inches” while living. The crania are described as being “of unusual size and thickness”, with “unusually large” orbital cavities, and “large teeth”, the “front nearly as large as molars”. Skeletons were interred on their sides in “a cist or rude dolmen”, and were covered in red ocher. Artifacts include flint blades, shells, and deer teeth. 12 Neolithic Axes have also been found. 13