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The Hummock - Tuckerton, NJ
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member 94RedRover
N 39° 34.190 W 074° 20.597
18S E 556407 N 4380220
Quick Description: Believed to be 1,500 years old, the Tuckerton Shell Mound is physical proof of activities of the Lenni Lenape peoples here, long before European explorers sailed these waters.
Location: New Jersey, United States
Date Posted: 5/20/2009 4:06:06 AM
Waymark Code: WM6E4Z
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member onfire4jesus
Views: 2

Long Description:

THE HUMMOCK, 2.3m is one of the largest shell piles left by the Indians along the Atlantic Coast. It lies in the marshland (R) about 100 yards from the road, and can be identified by several dead or dying cedars rooted in it. The long pile, overgrown with grass and rising some 8 or 10 feet above the flats, was built up over a long period by Indians who came here to get oysters and clams."

--- New Jersey, A Guide to Its Past and Present, 1939

Covering one-tenth of an acre, this shell mound, or "hummock", is literally a man-made island. The Lenape Indians would cross through the New Jersey Pine Barrens and head to the shores of Tuckerton for fishing and clamming. The shells from these excursions, over centuries, were disposed of riht here, on this spot...created this mound that is believed to reach 14 feet below the marsh surface and stand 10 feet high in places! That's a lot of clam bakes!

Out in the marshes of Little Egg Harbor and Great Bay, these tidal marsh lands are home to many species of wildlife and aquatic life. The mound has created enough ground for the growth of cedar trees, which out in the flat, open marshes, definetly stands out.

The actual reasons for why the shells were disposed of in mass quantity in this fashion is unknown. Some believe that these shell mounds are actually Indian burial grounds. Bones of Indians have been found in some smaller hummocks in the area, some showing physical trauma.

To find the Tuckerton Shell Mound, turn onto Great Bay Boulevard, off of Route 9 in Tuckerton by the Tuckerton Seaport Museum. Also called Seven Bridges Road, the traveler will cross over seven bridges that span the swamplands. Th hummock is located on the right hand side, shortly before crossing the first bridge. You will know the mound, as the cedar trees growing out of the marshes will catch your eye.

For archeological reasons, access to the mounds is prohibited. I waymarked a pull-off on the side of the road that offers good views of the hummock. The mound is only a couple hundred feet from the road, in the marsh, so with a good eye (or zoom lens) you can still see the mounds of shells. It has grown in a lot over the centuries.

Book: New Jersey

Page Number(s) of Excerpt: 560

Year Originally Published: 1939

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