Seip Mound and Earthworks

From Ohio History Central

Seip Mound is one of the largest earthen mounds built by the Hopewell culture (A.D. 1–400) of precontact American Indian people. It is 240 feet long, 160 feet wide, and 30 feet high. Originally, this mound was surrounded by a large, semi-circular enclosure that was connected to smaller circular and square enclosures. In all, the earthworks enclosed 120 acres with 10,500 feet of embankment walls. The walls were up to ten feet in height.

The Ohio History Connection excavated Seip Mound between 1925 and 1928. The excavation team discovered more than one hundred burials associated with a variety of artifacts crafted from exotic raw materials such as copper and mica. At the conclusion of the study, the mound was restored to its original dimensions.

Between 1906 and 1909, the Ohio History Connection explored a smaller structure, composed of three connected mounds, located a short distance to the east of the large Seip Mound. This mound also was called "Seip Mound," but to avoid confusion it is now referred to as the Seip Conjoined Mound. Sometimes the larger Seip Mound is called the Seip-Pricer Mound.

Seip Mound is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ohio History Connection owns the central section of the earthworks complex including the restored mound, the remnants of the conjoined mound, and major portions of the circular and square enclosures. The National Park Service owns the surrounding property, including the remaining portions of the enclosure. Seip Mound is located 14 miles southwest of Chillicothe, Ohio in Ross County and is open to visitation throughout the year.

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. 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. Pangea Productions. Searching for the Great Hopewell Road. N.p.: Pangea Productions, 1998.
  6. Lepper, Bradley T. Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures. Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005. 
  7. Earthworks Virtual Explorations of Ancient Newark, Ohio. The Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites. Cincinnati, OH: Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites, 2005.
  8. 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.
  9. 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. 
  10. Mills, William C., "Explorations of the Seip Mound," Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, Vol. 18, 269-321, 1909.
  11. Shetrone, Henry C. and Emerson F. Greenman, "Explorations of the Seip Group of Prehistoric Earthworks." Ohio State Archaeological and Historical Quarterly, Vol. 40, 343-509, 1931.