Marietta Earthworks

From Ohio History Central
Marietta Earthworks.jpg

This map shows the Hopewell earthworks at Marietta, Ohio.

The Marietta Earthworks site is a large Hopewell culture (100 BC – AD 500) ceremonial center located at the confluence of the Muskingum and Ohio rivers in Washington County. Originally, it included a large square enclosure surrounding four flat-topped pyramidal mounds, another smaller square, and a circular enclosure with a large burial mound at its center.

In 1788, the directors of the Ohio Company of Associates, the founders of Marietta, agreed to preserve important parts of the earthworks as parks. Three segments of the Marietta Earthworks are maintained as public parks today. The large burial mound surrounded by a circular enclosure is called Conus, the largest of the flat-topped earthen pyramids is called Quadranaou, and the next largest pyramidal mound is called Capitolium. The Washington County Public Library was built atop Capitolium Mound.

The Marietta Earthworks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Learn more about our effort to inscript several Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks sites (in Ross County, Licking County, and Warren County) to the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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. Dancey, William S., and Paul J. Pacheco. Ohio Hopewell Community Organization. Kent State University Press, 1997.

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  1. Warriner, Gray, producer. Legacy of the Mound Builders. Seattle, WA: Camera One for the National Park Service and the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, 1994.
  2. 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.