Tioga Point Skeletons

From Kook Science

The Tioga Point Skeletons were human remains uncovered at Tioga Point near Sayre, Pennsylvania in a burial mound site that was excavated during 1916 as part of the Susquehanna Archaeological Expedition, discoveries which were subsequently reported in several newspapers as being giant skeletons with an average height of some 7 feet (2.13 m.), including one or more that allegedly had horns protruding from their foreheads. This news coverage, however, seems to have been partially exaggerated: the horned skull was actually found to have been a burial bundle that was completely covered with antlers of Virginia deer; and, while the heights of several skeletons were estimated to have been above 6 ft. 6 in. (1.98 m.), the average height of the skeletons was not 7 feet.[M]

Press Coverage

  • "GIANTS' BONES IN MOUND. Scientists Unearth Relics of Indians who Lived 700 Years Ago.", New York Times (New York, NY), 14 July 1916, "Special to The New York Times. BINGHAMTON, July 13. — Professor A. B. Skinner of the American Indian Museum, Professor W. K. Morehead of Phillips Andover Academy, and Dr. George Donohue, Pennsylvania State Historian, who have been conducting researches along the valley of the Susquehanna, have uncovered an Indian mound at Tioga Point, on the upper portion of the Queen Esther's Flats, on what is known as the Murray farm, a short distance from Sayre, Penn., which promises rich additions to Indian lore. In the mound uncovered were found the bones of sixty-eight men which are believed to have been buried 700 years ago. The average height of these men was seven feet, while many were much taller. Further evidence of their gigantic size was found in the celts or axes hewed from stone and buried in the grave. On some of the skulls, two inches above the perfected formed forehead, were protuberances of bones. Members of the expedition say that it is the first discovery of its kind on record and a valuable contribution to the history of the early races. The skull and a few bones found in one grave were sent to the American Indian Museum." 
  • "MEN HAD HORNS THEN.", Bridgeport Telegram (Bridgeport, Conn.): 19, 12 Jan. 1918,, "The archaeologists who are traversing the Susquehanna River valley visiting sites of Indian villages and digging up aborigines and other relics, are said to have made a most astounding discovery on the Murray farm, near Athens, Pa., in finding the bones of 68 prehistoric men. The average, height of these men when their skeletons were assembled, was seven feet, while many were much taller. Additional evidence of their size was found in the massive battle axes in their graves. Another amazing point of this discovery is the allegation that perfectly formed skulls were found from which horns grew straight out from the [head]." 

Reports of the Susquehanna Archaeological Expedition (1918)

  • Moorehead, Warren K.; Donehoo, G. P. (1918), "Susquehanna Archaeological Expedition", Second Report of the Pennsylvania Historical Commission, Harrisburg, p. 117-151 
  • Murray, Louise Welles (1921), "Aboriginal Sites In and Near 'Teaoga,' Now Athens, Pennsylvania", American Anthropologist: 183-214,  — "While the writer was present one of the men in working a grave exclaimed, 'There are horns over his head!' Mr. Skinner said that indicated chieftainship. Later this was found to be a bundle burial, completely covered with antlers of Virginia deer. A passing visitor, however, heard the exclamation and attempted to verify it by interrogating a fun-loving Maine workman, and the story grew and was printed from coast to coast that one or more skulls had been found with horns growing from the forehead!"