Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
1840s map of Mound City
Location Ross County, Ohio, United States Nearest city Chillicothe, Ohio Coordinates Coordinates: Area 1,170 acres (473 ha) Established March 2, 1923 Visitors 29,948 (in 2007) Governing body National Park Service
Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, formerly known as Mound City Group National Monument, is a United States national historical park with earthworks and burial mounds from the Hopewell culture, indigenous peoples who flourished from about 200 BC to AD 500. The park is composed of five separate sites in Ross County, Ohio. The park includes archaeological resources of the Hopewell culture. It is administered by the United States Department of the Interior's National Park Service.
In January 2008 the Department of the Interior included Hopewell Culture National Historical Park as part of the "Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks", one of 14 sites on its "tentative list" from which the United States makes nominations for the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
From about 200 BC to AD 500, the Ohio River Valley was a central area of the prehistoric Hopewell culture. The term Hopewell (taken from an early farmer who owned the land where one of the mound complexes was located) culture is applied to a broad network of beliefs and practices among different Native American peoples who inhabited a large portion of eastern North America. The culture is characterized by its construction of enclosures made of earthen walls, often built in geometric patterns, and mounds of various shapes. Visible remnants of Hopewell culture are concentrated in the Scioto River valley near present-day Chillicothe, Ohio.
The most striking Hopewell sites contain earthworks in the form of squares, circles, and other geometric shapes. Many of these sites were built to a monumental scale, with earthen walls up to 12 feet (3.7 m) high outlining geometric figures more than 1,000 feet (300 m) across. Conical and loaf-shaped earthen mounds up to 30 feet (9.1 m) high are often found in association with the geometric earthworks. The people who built them had a detailed knowledge of the local soils, and they combined different types to provide the most stability to the works. It required the organized labor of thousands of manhours, as people carried the earth in handwoven baskets.
Mound City, located on Ohio Highway 104 approximately four miles north of Chillicothe along the Scioto River, is a group of 23 earthen mounds constructed by the Hopewell culture. Each mound within the group covered the remains of a charnel house. After the Hopewell people cremated the dead, they burned the charnel house. They constructed a mound over the remains. They also placed artifacts, such as copper figures, mica, arrowheads, shells, and pipes in the mounds.
European Americans first mapped the site in the 1840s. Much of it was destroyed during World War I when the United States Army constructed a military training base, the Camp Sherman, on the site. After the war, they razed the camp. The Ohio Historical Society conducted an archeological excavation of the site from 1920–1922, followed by reconstruction of the mounds. In 1923, the Department of Interior declared the Mound City Group a National Monument, to be administered by the Federal government.
In 1992, Mound City Group was renamed and expanded as Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. Its definition included remnants of four other nearby earthwork and mound systems. Two Ross County sites are within a few miles of Mound City and open to the public. Seip Earthworks is located 17 miles (27 km) west of Chillicothe on U.S. Route 50; it is administered by the Ohio Historical Society. Hopewell Mound Group is the site of the 1891 excavation on the land of Capt. Mordecai Hopewell (for whom the culture is named). Although High Bank Works and Hopeton Earthworks are included in the national park and maintained by the National Park Service, they are not open to visitors.
The Ohio Historical Society also maintains a number of mound systems and elaborate earthworks in the southern Ohio area, including the National Historic Landmarks of Fort Ancient, Newark Earthworks, and Serpent Mound. Fifteen mound complexes earlier identified in the county have been lost to agriculture or urban development.
The national park contains nationally significant archaeological resources, including large earthwork and mound complexes. These provide insight into the sophisticated and complex social, ceremonial, political, and economic life of the Hopewell people.
The park visitor's center features museum exhibits with artifacts excavated by the Mound City Group, an orientation film, book sales area, and self-guided and guided tours.
- List of Hopewell sites
- ^ "Secretary Kempthorne Selects New U.S. World Heritage Tentative List", Dept. of Interior (posted by Octagonmoonrise), 22 Jan 2008, accessed 5 Dec 2008
- ^ "Mound City Group", Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, National Park Service, accessed 23 Sep 2009
- Squire, Ephraim G. and Davis, Edwin H., Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998. (reprint of 1848 book)
- Woodward, Susan L. and McDonald, Jerry N., Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley, Blacksburg, VA: McDonald & Woodward Publishing, 1986.
Hopewellian peoples Ohio HopewellBeam Farm · Benham Mound · Cary Village Site · Cedar-Bank Works · Dunns Pond Mound · Ellis Mounds · Ety Enclosure · Ety Habitation Site · Fort Ancient · Fortified Hill Works · Great Hopewell Road · High Banks Works · Hopeton Earthworks · Hopewell Culture National Historical Park · Indian Mound Cemetery · Keiter Mound · Marietta Earthworks · Moorehead Circle · Mound of Pipes · Nettle Lake Mound Group · Newark Earthworks · Oak Mounds · Perin Village Site · Portsmouth Earthworks · Seip Earthworks and Dill Mounds District · Shawnee Lookout · Tremper Mound and Works · Williamson Mound Archeological District Crab Orchard culture Goodall FocusGoodall Site · Norton Mound Group Havana Hopewell culture Kansas City Hopewell Marksville culture Miller cultureBynum Mound and Village Site · Ingomar Mound · Miller Site · Pharr Mounds · Pinson Mounds Point Peninsula ComplexLewiston Mound · Serpent Mounds Park · LeVescounte Mounds Swift Creek culture Other Hopewellian peoplesArmstrong culture · Copena culture · Fourche Maline culture · Laurel Complex · Saugeen Complex · Old Stone Fort (Tennessee) Exotic trade items Protected areas of Ohio FederalNational parksCedar Point • Ottawa • West Sister Island State
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National Register of Historic Places in Ross County, Ohio National Historical Park
Mound City Group National Monument
National Historic Landmarks Historic districts
Chillicothe Business District | Chillicothe's Old Residential District | Grandview Cemetery | Great Seal Park Archeological District | Charles Metzger Mound | Seip Earthworks and Dill Mounds District
Adena Mound | Levi Anderson House | Howard Baum Site (33RO270) | Austin Brown Mound | Buchwalter House-Applethorpe Farm | T.C. Campbell Mound | Canal Warehouse | Cedar-Bank Works | Chillicothe Water and Power Company Pumping Station | Frankfort Works Mound | Gartner Mound and Village Site | Dr. John Harris Dental School | Higby House | High Banks Works | Highbank Farm | Hopewell Mound Group | Kinzer Mound | Henry Mace House | Mary Worthington Macomb House | Mountain House | Oak Hill | Renick House, Paint Hill | Seip House | South Salem Academy | South Salem Covered Bridge | Spruce Hill Works | David Stitt Mound | Story Mound State Memorial | Tanglewood | Vanmeter Church Street House | Anthony and Susan Cardinal Walke House | Wesley Chapel
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