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Several sets of Native American remains have been recovered from Mammoth Cave, or other nearby caves in the region, in both the 19th and 20th centuries.
Most mummies found represent examples of intentional burial, with ample evidence of pre-Columbian funerary practice. An exception to purposeful burial was discovered when in the remains of an adult male were discovered under a large boulder.
The boulder had shifted and settled onto the victim, a pre-Columbian miner, who had disturbed the rubble supporting it. The remains of the ancient victim were named "Lost John" and exhibited to the public into the s, when they were interred in a secret location in Mammoth Cave for reasons of preservation as well as emerging political sensitivities with respect to the public display of Native American remains.
Louis, Missourihas done much to illuminate the lives of the late Archaic and early Woodland peoples who explored and exploited caves in the region. Preserved by the constant cave environment, dietary evidence yielded carbon dates enabling Watson and others to determine the age of the specimens.
An analysis of their content, also pioneered by Watson, allows determination of the relative content of plant and meat in the diet of either culture over a period spanning several thousand years. This analysis indicates a timed transition from a hunter-gatherer culture to plant domestication and agriculture.
Another technique employed in archaeological researchat Mammoth Cave, was " experimental archaeology " in which modern explorers were sent into the cave using the same technology as that employed by the ancient cultures whose leftover implements lie discarded in many parts of the cave.
The goal was to gain insight into the problems faced by the ancient people who explored the cave, by placing the researchers in a similar physical situation. Ancient human remains and artifacts within the caves are protected by various federal and state laws.
One of the most basic facts to be determined about a newly discovered artifact is its precise location and situation. Even slightly moving a prehistoric artifact contaminates it from a research perspective.
Explorers are properly trained not to disturb archaeological evidence, and some areas of the cave remain out-of-bounds for even seasoned explorers, unless the subject of the trip is archaeological research on that area.
Besides the remains that have been discovered in the portion of the cave accessible through the Historic Entrance of Mammoth Cave, the remains of cane torches used by Native Americans, as well as other artifacts such as drawings, gourd fragments, and woven grass moccasin slippers are found in the Salts Cave section of the system in Flint Ridge.
Though there is undeniable proof of their existence and use of the cave, there is no evidence of further use past the archaic period.
Experts and scientists have no answer as to why this is, making it one of the greatest mysteries of Mammoth Cave to this day. The land was lost to a local county tax claim during the War of While hunting, Houchin pursued a wounded bear to the cave's large entrance opening near the Green River.
Some Houchin Family tales have John Decatur "Johnny Dick" Houchin as the discoverer of the cave, but this is highly unlikely because Johnny Dick was only 10 years old in and was unlikely to be out hunting bears at such a tender age.
His father John is the more likely candidate from that branch of the family tree, but the most probable candidate for discoverer of Mammoth Cave is Francis "Frank" Houchin whose land was much closer to the cave entrance than his brother John's.
There is also the argument that their brother Charles Houchin, who was known as a great hunter and trapper, was the man who shot that bear and chased it into the cave. The shadow over Charles's claim is the fact that he was residing in Illinois until Contrary to this story is Brucker and Watson's The Longest Cave, which asserts that the cave was "certainly known before that time.
Even Francis Houchin had a cave entrance on his land very near the bend in the Green River known as the Turnhole, which is less than a mile from the main entrance of Mammoth Cave.
The land containing this historic entrance was first surveyed and registered in under the name of Valentine Simons. Simons began exploiting Mammoth Cave for its saltpeter reserves. According to family records passed down through the Houchin, and later Henderson families, John Houchin was bear hunting and the bear turned and began to chase him.
He found the cave entrance when he ran into the cave for protection from the charging bear. The blockade starved the American military of saltpeter and therefore gunpowder.KANSAS CITY, Mo.
– Tomorrow, on Sept. 29, the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. will celebrate years since its establishment. Each year VFW Day is celebrated at VFW Posts and in communities around the world to recognize the mission and work of the more than million members of the VFW and its Auxiliary.
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