Hamilton (2007:18-19) writes:
“The trait of double rows of teeth may date this Ohio mound (below) to a very early period, perhaps early or pre-Adena. This now rare dental condition can be found with some frequency in the early reports. It is in modern races a rare and recessive trait.
The remarkable feature of these remains was they had double teeth in front as well as in back of the mouth and in both upper and lower jaws. (Seneca Township, Noble County, Ohio)
Such teeth were always associated with extra-large frames, and these people may have had a connection to a segment of the military Adena or their Archaic predecessors the Ohio Allegheny people who, in accord with Indian tradition, also boasted members of very large stature.”
Hamilton goes on to give three more examples of “double rows of teeth” in this section, including the skeleton from Deerfield, Massachusetts, that I discussed several days ago. He also provides an account from Medina County, Ohio, in support of the Adena giant soldier with “double rows of teeth” idea (pp. 92-94) and several accounts that he says describe cannibalistic giants with “double rows of teeth” from New York. Hamilton (2005:115) weaves these various accounts into a cultural-historical timeline, tracking the “possible movement of the double-rows-of-teeth giant Lenape warrior class from extreme northern Ohio to the east, becoming the Stonish giants.”
Hamilton’s interpretation is built on, among other things, the idea that “double rows of teeth” is a distinctive genetic condition (see above) that can be used to discern relationships among populations. That assumption is not at all justifiable when these accounts are considered in their historic context. As I have discussed here and in reference to “giant” skeletons from Ellensburg, Washington, northern New Mexico, and Deerfield, Massachusetts, the phrase “double teeth all around” was commonly used in nineteenth century America to describe a set of teeth that, because of their worn state, appeared to consist entirely of “double teeth” aka molars.
"Double teeth all around" does not mean "double rows of teeth." If you don't believe me, go to the Library of Congress and search for the phrase in its archive of historic newspapers and see what stories come up. They won't all be about giant skeletons. You’ll find cases where the phrase is used to describe living individuals (and not just those with “extra large frames,” as Hamilton [2005:19] assures us). Go a little crazy and search for "double teeth," also. It might surprise you.
Having “double teeth all around” is a result of tooth wear, not genetics. It was worthy of mention in these 19th century accounts because it was not a wear pattern that was typical of most individuals living at the time. That does not make it a mystery, however, or something supernatural.
Back the Ohio accounts. Let’s look at three that Hamilton (2007) highlights:
Noble County, Ohio
Here is the text of the account from Noble County, Ohio (Historical Collections of Ohio in Two Volumes, Noble County, Ohio, pp. 350-351, available here) [428 in my database]:
Huge Skeletons.—In Seneca township was opened, in 1872, one of the numerous Indian mounds that abound in the neighborhood. This particular one was locally known as the "Bates" mound. Upon being dug into it was found to contain a few broken pieces of earthenware, a lot of flint-heads and one or two stone implements and the remains of three skeletons, whose size would indicate they measured in life at least eight feet in height. The remarkable feature of these remains was they had double teeth in front as well as in back of mouth and in both upper and lower jaws. Upon exposure to the atmosphere the skeletons soon crumbled back to mother earth.
This is a simple one. Translated from the 19th century parlance, the writer of the account is remarking that the skeleton appeared to have molar/grinding teeth instead of cutting teeth (incisors and canines). This was a common interpretation in skeletal human remains (and in living humans) when the front teeth were highly worn. There is no “double row of teeth” here.
Lawrence County, Ohio
Here is the text of the 1892 account published in the Ironton Register (May 5, 1892) [I have not yet gotten an original copy of this one, so I’m assuming it was reproduced accurately by Hamilton; I do not know how much of the story this passage constitutes]:
Where Proctorville now stands was one day part of a well paved city, but I think the greater part of it is now in the Ohio river. Only a few mounds, there; one of which was near the C. Wilgus mansion and contained a skeleton of a very large person, all double teeth, and sound, in a jaw bone that would go over the jaw with the flesh on, of a large man; the common burying ground was well filled with skeletons at a depth of about 6 feet. Part of the pavement was of boulder stone and part of well preserved brick.
This one is also fairly simple. Again, once you understand that a “double tooth” is a molar tooth, it is clear that the writer is describing a skeleton with “double teeth all around:” a dentition filled with well-worn teeth that appear to be molars.
Medina County, Ohio
Here is the text of the account from Medina County, Ohio (History of Medina County, Ohio, 1881, p. 21; available here) [424 in my database]:
In digging the cellar of the house, nine human skeletons were found, and, like such specimens from other ancient mounds of the country, they showed that the Mound Builders were men of large stature. The skeletons were not found lying in such a manner as would indicate any arrangement of the bodies on the part of the entombers. In describing the tomb, Mr. Albert Harris said” It looked as if the bodies had been dumped into a ditch.” Some of them were buried deeper than others, the lower one being about seven feet below the surface. When the skeletons were found, Mr. Harris was twenty years of age, yet he states that he could put one of the skulls over his head, and let it rest upon his shoulders, while wearing a fur cap at the same time. The large size of all the bones was remarked, and the teeth were described as "double all the way round.” They were kept for a time, and then again buried by Judge Harris. At the center of the mound, and .some nine feet below the surface, was found a small monument of cobble-stones. The stones, or bowlders, composing this were regularly arranged in round Iayers, the monument being topped off with a single stone. There were about two bushels in measure of these small bowlders, and mixed with them was a quantity- of charcoal. The cobble-stones, charcoal and skeletons were the only things noticed at the turn of digging the cellar, in 1830.
This account even puts the phrase “double all the way around” in quotation marks, identifying it as a colloquialism. Like the two accounts above, this account was meant to convey that the teeth appeared to be all molars or grinding teeth, not “double rows of teeth.”
What the Giantologists Got Wrong
These three accounts from Ohio are clearly describing a state of tooth wear (that was sometimes mis-interpreted in the 19th century as the presence of molar teeth in place of cutting teeth), not a genetic condition. Hamilton’s (2007) claim that “double rows of teeth” are some kind of genetic trait that can be used to identify populations of extra-large beings or track their movements across the landscape is not supportable based on these cases. Upon this non-existent "foundation," he has assembled a complicated story that involves cannibalistic giants, population movements, and an Adena military force. Without the "double rows of teeth," what happens to this story?
There are plenty of other cases interpreted by Hamilton and others as “double rows of teeth.” We shall how many of these still appear mysterious under closer scrutiny.
As usual, please let me know if you see any errors in what I have presented here.