Officially known as the Criel Mound, the South Charleston Mound is the focal point of a public park in the city’s downtown business district. It is a burial mound and artifact of the prehistoric Adena and Hopewell cultures. Thirty-five feet high with a 175-foot diameter, this roughly conical mound is the largest of about 50 Indian mounds once found between Charleston and Institute. Between 1883 and 1885, a Smithsonian investigation, led by P. W. Morris, excavated a shaft into the base of the mound where archaeologists found a group burial chamber containing 11 bodies. Additional later burials were discovered at higher levels. Other artifacts found with the mound include lanceheads, arrowheads, shell beads, and shards of pottery.
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