Ancient Mounds, A guide to public earthen mounds, Earthworks, cliff dwellings, pueblos, petroglyphs, caves, stone chambers, rock art, and ancient sites of North America. Ancient Mounds are found all over the world. Sites listed by state, with maps and information on artifacts unearthed at each site.  Articles on Ancient People and Places.  History of Prehistoric Peoples Including The Hopewell, Fort Ancient, Phoenician, Anasazi, Vikings, Welsh, Irish, and more.  Learn about places to visit to see Ancient History.


The History of Kofad Wheat, found in an ancient burial mound by Amasa Potter in 1870

The following is from Switzler's illustrated history of Missouri, from 1541 to 1881.  Page 68.

From an interesting account of certain mounds in Utah, communicated by Mr. Amasa Potter to the Eureka Sentinel, of Nevada, as coped by The Western Review of Science and Industry, I make the following extracts:

"The mounds are situated on what is known as the Payson Farm, and are six in number, covering about twenty acres of ground.  They are from ten to eighteen feet in height, and from 500 to 1,000 feet in circumference."  "The explorations divulged no hidden treasure so far, but have proved to us that there once undoubtedly existed here a more enlightened race of human beings than that of the Indian who inhabited this country, and whose records have been traced back hundreds of years." "While engaging in excavating one of the larger mounds, we discovered the feet of a large skeleton, and carefully removing the hardened earth in which it was embedded, we succeeded in unearthing a large skeleton without injury.  The human framework measured six feet, six inches in length, and from appearances it was undoubtedly that of a male.  In the right hand was a large iron or steel weapon, which had been buried with the body, but which crumbled to pieces on handling.  Near the skeleton we also found pieces of cedar wood, cut in various fantastic shapes, and in a state of perfect preservation; the carving showing that the people of this unknown race were acquainted with the use of edged tools.  We also found a large stone pipe, the stem of which was inserted between the teeth of the skeleton.  The bowl of the pipe weighs five ounces, and is made of sandstone; and the aperture for tobacco had the appearance of having been drilled out."  "We found another skeleton near that of the above mentioned, which was not quite as large, and must be that of a woman.  There was a neatly carved tombstone near the head of the skeleton.  Close by, the floor was covered with a hard cement, to all appearances a part of the solid rock, which, after patient labor and exhaustive work, we succeeded in penetrating, and found it was but the corner of a box, similarly constructed, in which we found about three pints of wheat kernels, most of which was dissolved when brought in contact with the air.  A few of the kernels found in the center of the head looked bright, and retained their freshness on being exposed.  These were carefully preserved, and last spring planted and grew nicely.  We raised for and a half pounds of heads from these grains.  The wheat is unlike any other raised in this country, and produces very large yield.  It is the club variety; the heads are very long and hold very large grains."  "We find houses in all the mounds, the rooms of which are as perfect as the day they were built.  All the apartments are nicely plastered, some in white, others in red color.  Crockery ware, cooking utensils, vases- many of a pattern similar to the present age- are also found.  Upon one large stone jug or vase can be traced a perfect delineation of the mounds near here for a distance of twenty miles.  We have found several millstones used for grinding corn, and plenty of charred corn-cobs, with kernels not unlike what we know as yellow dent corn.  We judge from out observations that those ancient dwellers of our country followed agriculture for a livelihood, and hand many of the arts and sciences know to use, as we found molds made of clay for casting different implements, needles made of deer-horns, and lasts made of stone, and which were in good shape.  We also found many trinkets, such as white stone beads and marbles as good as made now; also small squares of polished stones resembling dominoes, but for what use intended we cannot determine."

The following is from the Utah Historical Quarterly Volume 9, Page 134

                                                                                                 "Payson.  Oct. 19, 1906"

Mr. John C. Witbeck, Sir:

       As you have asked me the origin of the celebrated dry land wheat that is proving so effectual on dry land, I will here give you its origin:-  In the year 1870, the undersigned was exploring ancient mounds in Utah County near Payson, and in one of those mounds I found a large building with five rooms in it and in the corner of one of those rooms I found two skeletons of ancient people,  one was 6 feet tall, the other  5 1/2 feet, and at the head of those skeletons I found many  articles of ancient work and among other things was a stone box containing a small quantity of wheat, and in opening the box, the grain, all but a little, was dust, but there was a little that seemed bright.  I took it home and planted it in a box and in a few days it germinated and came up.  I transplanted it in my garden and it grew up and ripened.  I saw that it was a new kind of wheat.  I saved it all and planted it net spring and raised a bushel and a half of wheat.  I sent a small sample to Washington, they tried it and sent me a report as being the best wheat they had tried.  I sent samples all over Utah county, and it proved to be the best dry land wheat they had ever tried, and a great yielder.  There was about 60 grains in a head, and 50 stalks from one grain's planting and weighed 65 lbs. to the bushel.  I find it very much mixed with other wheat in this country, but it can be picked out and got pure.  At Washington they call it Ancient Mound wheat.

Yours truly,

Amasa Potter

Graves of the Viking Stone Age

Stone Age graves in Present Scandinavia can be classified into four groups: The Cromlech or Dolmen, Passage or Gallery Graves, Free Standing Stone Coffins, Stone Coffins covered by a Mound.  <Read More>

The Kensington Runestone

“Eight Goths and twenty-two Norwegians upon a journey of discovery from Vineland westward.  We had a camp by two skerries one day.  When we retuned home we found ten men red with blood and dead. <Read More>

Additional Reading

Ancient Kofad wheat