When I was a girl, MANY years ago, I read an article in Readers Digest that kept me awake nights. (Yes, I was an impressionable child.) The story was about a prehistoric burial site, bodies that had been unearthed near the Mississippi River, giants, buried sitting upright in chairs. For some reason, the chair-thing disturbed me as much as the shocking news of their size. The physical condition known as Gigantism isn’t news, but this site was—as MPFC used to say—completely different.
From then on, I looked for articles about tall, ancient beings and found a boatload of info, some reliable, some ridiculous. Let’s start off with the Bible: “There were giants in the earth in those days; and also after that” (Genesis 6:4). Historian, Favius Josephus in the first century A.D. wrote about a giant on display. Ireland had theirs. Native American tribes have oral history about red-haired giants.
The eighteen hundreds had numerous, well-documented findings, all with many similarities. More than one site had enormous sarcophagi meant for a single body. The Kossuth giants in Iowa were found in a vault, seven of them, facing each other in a circle.
For centuries, scads of artifacts have been dug up, including weapons and implements so huge in size that no present day person could wield them. Impressions have been left in stone of massive skulls and feet, the dimensions for beings 20 feet and taller. (Whoa.) Some of them have double rows of teeth, extra fingers and toes. Red-haired, mummified bodies and gargantuan skeletons have been unearthed all over the world. Conspiracy theories spout noisy claims foul play and cover-ups. But why deny their existence? Seems silly.
Ancient tall peoples captivated me to the extent that my next YA fantasy is going to have red-haired giants. (I like it when my protags to have big problems.)
So why don’t we see/hear more about these prehistoric beings? What’s the deal? Are they merely tall Hobbits? There are books out accusing “materialists” of trying to eradicate the existence of giants. (We can’t have the Bible substantiated, now, can we?) One work accuses the Smithsonian of taking donated skeletal artifacts out to sea to get rid of them. Sounds a bit extreme. And sillier. More likely the bones are in some box designated as not-a-priority and layered in dust in some forgotten corner, a la the ending of Indiana Jones.
But, if you’re interested, here are some sites. Some of it is repetitive, but there are a lot of great pictures, some of the skulls, bones, and footprints literally and physically embedded in stone, dating back millions of years. That’s right, millions.
Giants and mummies and monsters, Oh,my!