Miamisburg Mound

From Ohio History Central
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Miamisburg Mound (1).jpg
Painting of the Miamisburg Mound in Montgomery County, Ohio with a view of a farm, farmyard and animals including chickens painted by Charles Sullivan, ca. 1835-1860. The Miamisburg Mound is the largest conical burial mound in Ohio and possibly in the eastern United States. It was likely constructed by the prehistoric Adena Indians (800 B.C.-A.D. 100). Charles Sullivan studied art in Philadelphia and moved to Marietta, Ohio in 1833. Landscape paintings were his specialty. He produced numerous paintings of the river area of southeastern Ohio and what is now western West Virginia. Sullivan lived in Marietta until his death in 1867 at the age of seventy-three. This painting is part of the fine art collections of the Ohio Historical Society.

Miamisburg Mound is one of the two largest conical mounds in eastern North America. The other is West Virginia's Grave Creek Mound. It is a burial mound built by the people that archaeologists have called the Adena culture (800 B.C. to 100 A.D.). Adena was the name Governor Thomas Worthington called his estate in Chillicothe, Ohio. It was at that estate that the first mound of this group of prehistoric Native Americans was excavated in 1901.

The Miamisburg Mound is 65 feet tall and 800 feet in circumference. It contains 54,000 cubic yards of earth, which corresponds to the contents of more than 3,400 dump trucks.

Excavations conducted in 1869 revealed details of construction suggesting the Adena culture built the mound in several stages. The excavators found a layer of flat stones, overlapping like shingles on a roof, at a depth of 24 feet below the surface. At one point in its history, the mound had a stone facing. Monuments like Miamisburg Mound served as cemeteries for several generations of ancient Ohioans. They also may have marked the boundaries of tribal territories.

Miamisburg Mound is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located in the City of Miamisburg in Montgomery County, Ohio.