The ethnologist Cyrus Thomas (1825-1910) had a particular interest in mound building and discredited the prevailing theory of his time, that mounds were constructed by a race that prececded the Indians. His Catalogue of Prehistoric Works East of the Rocky Mountains, (1891) is a lengthy list of mounds, earthworks, petroglyphs, kjokkenmodding, and various aboriginal stone constructions.
After studying the Catalogue, I pared down the list, limiting the geographic coverage to North Georgia, Western North Carolina, Northwestern South Carolina and East Tennessee. Further, I’ve removed listings for almost all the mounds within that territory. My specific interest at the moment involves rock cairns, stone walls and similar stone structures.
A later post will discuss some of these, particularly the abundance of sites identified in Habersham County and the rest of North Georgia. But for now, here’s an abridged list from Cyrus Thomas’ Catalogue:
"Indian Fort," or inclosure on the summit of a rocky hill which overlooks the Etowah River towards Rome, 2 1/2 miles northwest of the great Etowah Mounds. Figure and description by Charles Whittlesey, Smithsonian Report, 1881, pp. 627,628. Described also in the Atlanta Constitution, April 13, 1886.
Two rock graves, 2 1/2 miles west of Cartersville, on land of Miles Dobbins. Reported by John P. Rogan.
A mound encircled by a stone wall, at Adairsville. Reported by James D. Middleton.
Vault on William Burgess’s farm, 2 miles from Stilesborough, on Raccoon Creek. Copper specimen and stone image found. Reported by J. P. Rogan.
Rock mound, near where the railway from Cartersville to Cedarville crosses Petit's Creek. Briefly described by Charles Whittlesey, Sm. Rep., 1881, p. 628. Reported by John P. Rogan.
Two rock graves 6 miles west of Cartersville.
De Kalb County
Remains of a rock wall about half way up Stone Mountain. Described by C. C. Jones, Antiquities of the Southern Indians., pp. 207-208.
Stone cairn on road from Campbellton to Marietta, on ridge between Anawaka and Sweetwater Creeks. Reported by James Mooney.
Ancient fortifications on the western bank of the Chattahoochee River opposite the village of Campbellton. Mentioned in White's Historical Collections of Georgia, p. 293.
Ancient tumuli on the Savannah River visited by William Bartram in 1776, situated on the west bank of the Savannah, about 4 miles north of the mouth of Broad River. Bartram's Travels (1791), pp. 324, 325. Description chiefly from Bartram and figure by C. C. Jones, Sm. Rep., 1877, pp. 283-286. Explored by John P. Rogan. Described and figured in Report.
Two concentric stone circles inclosing an area of about 2 acres with walls 2 feet high on branch of
Silver Creek, about 7 miles south of Borne.
Stone cairn on a hill near the preceding.
Stone cairn with two concentric stone circles, formerly stood on north bank of Etowah River just below mouth of Dyke's Creek.
Stone inclosure with walls about 3 1/2 feet high, area one-fourth of an acre, formerly on west side of
Silver Creek, 7 1/2miles south of Rome. Reported by James Mooney.
Old mining excavations at Whitepath.
Circular earthwork near east bank of Ellijay River on Dillingham farm 2 miles above Ellijay.
Stone cairn on Parks farm on west bank of Ellijay River, 3 miles below Ellijay. Reported by James Mooney.
Stone mound on the form of Robert M. Grimes, near the southeast line of the county; also an earth mound to the west of the stone mound. Mentioned by Benj. W. Kent. Sm. Rep., 1882, p. 771.
Stone structure, horseshoe shape, 2 to 4 feet high, at Soquee post-office.
Circular earthwork about 30 feet in diameter, just east of last.
Several stone cairns along the road, just south of Soquee post-office.
Stone cairn on Tray Mountain.
Stone circle formerly on the hill above Glade Creek, on the road from Clarkesville to Tallulah Falls, 5 miles from Clarkesville.
Stone cairn on a ridge between Rabun and Habersham Counties, 2 miles west of Tallulah Falls.
Stone cairns on Soapstone Mountain, 5 miles southeast of Ayersville.
Large mound on east side of Soquee River, 1 mile above Deep Creek.
Stone wall nearly obliterated, on the east bank of Soquee River, about 4 miles above Clarkesville.
Stone cairn on north side of Toccoa Creek, 4 miles above its month.
Mound on the east bank of Soquee River, one-half mile above Clarkesville on the Wilson farm.
Stone cairn on the Ryan farm, 1 mile northeast of Clarkesville.
Stone cairns on the road, 1 mile north of Soquee post-office.
Stone cairn on the west bank of Soquee River, 2 miles below Clarkesville.
Stone circle 85 feet in diameter, with walls originally 4 feet high, on Aleck Mountain, 7 miles northwest of Clarkesville. Reported by James Mooney.
Stone mound on a ridge 3 miles from Sparta, in a direction opposite to the circular work mentioned in the next item. Mentioned by C. C. Jones, Antiq. So. Inds., p. 148.
Circular earthwork on the headwaters of the Great Ogeechee River, 5 miles from Sparta. Brief description by C. C. Jones, Antiq. So. lnds., p. 148.
Large stone and earthen circular work, walls formerly 12 feet high and inclosing an area of 8 or 10 acres, on Fort Mountain.
Bird-shaped mound of white quartz rock, inclosed by a stone circle, about 1 1/2 miles from Lawrence's ferry on the Oconee River.
Rock mounds containing graves, near Eatonton. Bones and a pipe shaped like an eagle's head, found in them. Described and figured by C. C. Jones, 8m. Rep., 1877, pp. 278-282. Mentioned also by Benj. W. Kent, Sm. Rep., 1882, p. 770.
Stone tumuli, near Little River, below Pierson's Mill on the opposite side of the stream. Mentioned by Benj. W. Kent, 8m. Rep., 1882, p. 771.
Stone cairns in Rabun Gap.
Stone cairns on the north side of Tuckaleegee Creek, a small branch of War Woman Creek.
Wall of large, dressed, uncemented stones, at Smith's Gold Mine, on the north side of Dick's Creek, 1 1/2 miles west of Burton post-office. Discovered by gold washers.
Stone cairn, known as the ''Indian Grave," near Glassy Mountain, on the head of Tiger Creek.
Stone cairn on the ridge east of Tiger Creek and southeast of Glassy Mountain. Reported by James Mooney.
A talc mine and stone implements on Piney Mountain. Mentioned in Science, vol. 9 (1887), p. 10.
Pictographs on large boulders in Track Rock Gap, 4 miles east of Blairsville. Reported by J. M. Spainhour.
Stone cairns at same gap. Reported by J. M. Spainhour.
Stone cairns on east bank of Nottely River, midway between Arkuqua and Town Creeks. Largest, originally 15 feet high.
Stone cairn 1 mile west of Blairsville in “Wimpey Field."
Stone cairns on ridge, 1 mile west of Tray Mountain.
Mound on east side of Sautee Creek, 1 mile above Chickamauga Creek. Reported by James Mooney.
Subterranean or buried village "on Duke's Creek, 4 miles from Nacoochee Valley. Described in
White's Hist. Coll. Ga., pp. 487, 488; and Jones' Ant. So. Inds., p. 48.
“Rock walls on Mount Yonah." Noticed by Jones, Ant. So. Inds., p. 208. (** Probably the large stone circle on Aleck Mountain in Habersham County, a few miles to the east.'' James Mooney.)
Ancient remains consisting of inclosures, mounds, and excavations, some miles above Wrightsborough, on the north side of Little River. Mentioned by Bartram, Travels, pp. 37,38; C. C. Jones, Antiq. So. Inds., p. 123.
Cairn at Indian Grave Gap on Green Mountain, 4 1/2 miles due north of Lenoir, in the trail. No burial.
Cairn on Brushy Mountain, near a probable Indian trail, 1 1/2 miles north of Cedar Valley. No burial.
Cairn 6 1/2 miles southwest of Lenoir, between Lenoir and Icard Station (on Richmond and Danville road, above Hickory). No burial.
Cairn on Brushy Mountain, about three-fourths of a mile east of the one noted above. No burial.
Group of small cairns on the ridge west of John's River, extending for about a mile along the ridge, from 5 to 6 miles northwest of Collettsville. Unexplored. Reported by J. M. Spainhour.
A rock shelter 7 miles from Catawba. Reported by J. P. Rogan.
Stone cairns on Whittaker farm, near mound at Valley River bridge.
Numerous stone cairns along trail from Tatham Bay south to Valley River, between Valley Town and Robbinsville.
Cairns on the ridge north of Shooting Creek, near its head. Cairns on ridge about 1 mile south of Shooting Creek and 3 miles east of Hiwassee River. Two mounds, one of stone, adjacent to last. Reported by J. W. Emmert.
Numerous stone cairns along trail down south side of Chilhowee and Tennessee Rivers, extending about 6 miles from Santeetleh Creek into Tennessee.
Stone cairn on north bank of Chilhowee River, about 1 mile below Yellow Creek. Reported by James Mooney.
Stone graves 3 miles below Robbinsville on a ridge near Chilhowee River. Reported by J. W. Emmert.
Stone cairns 1 mile east of Waynesville.
Stone cairns (" mounds ") on Rathbone's land, on south side of Hurricane Creek. Unexplored. Reported by J. W. Emmert.
Stone cairns on east fork of Pigeon River. Location not definitely given. Reported by James Mooney.
Stone cairns (six) on southwest side of Cullasaja Creek nearly opposite mouth of Ellijay Creek.
Stone cairns on Howard farm on west bank of Tennessee River, 2 miles above Tesenta Creek.
Mound on west bank of Nantahela River, 2 miles below Jarretts.
Mound on east bank of Nantahela River opposite mouth of Cowe Creek.
Stone cairns on Cartooyaja Creek near mouth of Wayah Creek, about 7 miles west of Franklin.
Cairn at Indian Grave Gap, in Walnut Mountain, at head of Brush and Walnut Creeks, on south side of road from Marshall to Burnsville. Reported by James Mooney.
Stone cairn on ridge between Indian Creek and Cooper's Creek, about 3 miles northeast of Bryson City.
Stone cairns about 3 miles southeast of Bryson City, on trail crossing ridge between Tuckasegee River and Alarka Creek.
Cairn at Boone's Gap on Boone's Fork of Warrior's Creek. Unexplored. Reported by Dr. J. M. Spainhour.
Cairn formerly 1 ½ miles north of cemetery mentioned above. Not a burial pile.
Explored by J. M. Spainhour.
Circular earthwork about 10 feet high on natural hill at Fort Hill, on east bank of Keowee River, about 4 miles below Twelve Mile Creek. Reported by James Mooney.
Stone cairns formerly existed on the top of Gilkey’s Knob, near Limestone Springs. Mentioned by
Logan, Hist. S. C. (1859), p. 217.
Cemetery on the southeast bank of Ellejoy Creek, just below old Fort McTeer and about 7 miles east of Maryville. Reported by J. W. Enmert.
Three stone graves 3 miles from Chilhowee post-office, on the top of Chilhowee Mountain.
Reported by J. W. Emmert. Identical with the "several rock graves or tombs near" two mounds (below) in Chilhowee Valley, mentioned by Dunnirig, Sm. Rep., 1870, pp. 376-380, and description partly quoted by Prof. Cyrus Thomas, Burial Mounds of the Northern Section (1888), pp. 78, 79.
Two cairns at the lower end of Chilhowee Mountain, about 2 miles northeast of Chilhowee post-office, and on the west side of the road in Montvale Springs. Reported by J. W. Emmert.
Two cairns at Indian Grave Gap, near the north bank of Little Tennessee River, on the road from Chilhowee to North Carolina, above Chilhowee Valley. E. O. Dunning, Sm. Rep. (1870), pp. 376-380, and quoted in part by Cyrus Thomas, in Burial Mounds of the Northern Section (1888), pp. 78, 79.
Twenty-five cairns 4 miles southeast of Indian Grave Gap, mentioned above, on the west side of the same road. Described by Dunning and quoted by Cyrus Thomas as above.
Cairns on both sides of the trail from Wear's Cove (on Cove Creek in Sevier County) to Tuckaleechee Cove (at Bricky Branch in Blonnt County) on the county line and extending into Sevier County. Reported by James Mooney.
Several cairns at Indian Grave Gap, where the road crosses north of Watauga River and about 1 mile north of Elizabethton.
"Chimneys," ten or fifteen in number, like stone chimneys open at the top, washed out about 1882 in bottom on west bank of Tennessee (Holston) River just below the mouth of the French Broad. Reported by James Mooney.
Cairns in the gap on the State line at the Slick Rock trail on the south side of the Little Tennessee River.
Stone graves (cists) about one hundred in number on Slick Rock Creek on the south side of Little Tennessee River.
Several stone graves on the east side of Citico Creek 5 miles from Little Tennessee River at Good Fields.
Three stone graves on a bluff on the north bank of Holston River 4 miles southeast of Kingsport.
Three stone graves similar to the above on the north bank of the Holston 2 miles higher up. Explored and described by J. W. Emmert in Report.
Mound containing stone graves about 2 miles directly nortb of Kingsport and not far from the North Fork of Holston. Reported by Cyrus Thomas. Described and illustrated in Burial Mounds of the Northern Section, pp. 75-77.
Cairns on the south side of the South Fork of Holston River 1/4 of a mile above Sharp's Creek, near Minnick's Ford.
Two stone graves on a bluff on the north side of the South Port of Holston River at Minnick's Ford. Reported by J. W. Emmert.
Group of mounds, with cemetery of stone graves and earthworks at Castalian (sulphur) Springs; on Bledsoe's Lick, and 8 miles northeast of Gallatin and 2 miles from Cragfont. Described by Haywood, Nat. and Ab. Hist. Tenn. (1823), 121-1-26; noticed by Jones, Antiq. Tenn., p. 104.
Grave cairns at Indian Grave Gap on the top of the Unaka Mountains on the State line about 4 miles southeast of Erwin.
Cairns on the south side of Watauga River, 1 mile above Roan's Creek. Reported by James Mooney.
Cemetery and earthworks on Caney Fork, about 4 miles southwest of Sparta. Described by Haywood, Nat. and Ab. Hist. Tenn. (1823), p. 173.
Cemetery near Sparta. Explored. Described by Haywood, Nat. and Ab. Hist. Tenn. (1823), pp. 200-209; mentioned by Jones, Antiq. Tenn., p. 8; brief notice by H. C. Williams, Sm. Rep. (1870), p. 368. He refers to the Sparta Review (newspaper) as containing a descriptive notice. Featherstonaugh describes the small stone graves of this locality in Excursion through Slave States, pp. 48-49.
Conical mound about 10 miles from Sparta. Haywood, Nat. and Ab. Hist. Tenn., pp. 193-197.
Cemetery of stone coffins on Calf Killer Creek, 4 miles above Sparta. Reported by James D. Middleton. One of them noted by Haywood Nat. and Ab. Hist. Tenn. (1823), p. 194.
"Old fortification," 5 or 6 miles from Sparta. Described by Haywood, Nat. and Ab. Hist. Tenn. (1823), p. 209.