Hopeton Earthworks

From Ohio History Central
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File:Hopeton Earthworks Excavation.jpg
An archaeologist working in Hopeton Earthworks trench is taking soil samples from the different soil layers to measure difference in soil magnetism.

The Hopeton Earthworks site is a large Hopewell culture (100 BC -- AD 500) ceremonial center located along the Scioto River in Ross County. It includes a large circular enclosure, 1,050 feet in diameter, attached to a square about 900 feet across. Originally, the walls were 12 feet high, but years of cultivation have reduced their height to less than five feet.

The Hopeton Earthworks are situated just across the Scioto River from the Mound City Group and a set of parallel walls extends from Hopeton towards the river. It is likely that these sites were closely related during Hopewell times.

Since 1994, the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, working with National Park Service archaeologist Mark Lynott and the Midwest Archeological Center, has conducted investigations at the Hopeton Earthworks. Radiocarbon dates obtained for the site demonstrate it was built at about the same time as the Mound City Group confirming the close relationship between the sites.

The Hopeton Earthworks site is a National Historic Landmark and is part of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.

See Also


  1. Byers, A. Martin. The Ohio Hopewell Episode: Paradigm Lost and Paradigm Gained. Akron, OH: University of Akron Press, 2004.
  2. Carr, Christopher, and D. Troy Case, eds. Gathering Hopewell: Society, Ritual, and Ritual Interaction. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2005.
  3. CERHAS. EarthWorks, Virtual Explorations of the Ancient Ohio Valley. The Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites (CERHAS). Cincinnati, OH, 2006.
  4. Case, D. Troy and Christopher Carr, eds. The Scioto Hopewell and their Neighbors: Bioarchaeological Documentation and Cultural Understanding. New York, NY: Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, 2008.
  5. Lepper, Bradley T. Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures. Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005. 
  6. Pangea Productions. Searching for the Great Hopewell Road. N.p.: Pangea Productions, 1998.
  7. Woodward, Susan L., and Jerry N. McDonald. Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley: A Guide to Mounds and Earthworks of the Adena, Hopewell, Cole, and Fort Ancient People. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 2002.