Turner Earthworks

From Ohio History Central

The Turner Earthworks site is a large Hopewell culture (100 BC-AD 500) ceremonial center formerly located along the Little Miami River in Hamilton County.

The Turner Earthworks included a large, oval enclosure, referred to as the Great Enclosure, connected by a set of parallel walls to a smaller circular enclosure situated on a higher terrace of the river. The Great Enclosure was 1500 feet long and 950 feet wide. The circular enclosure was 600 feet in diameter and was surrounded by a ditch. Two smaller circles and several mounds were built within the Great Enclosure and there were other mounds within the circle as well as outside the enclosure to the west. A long, narrow enclosure with rounded ends was located south of the circle. This "Long Enclosure" was nearly a half-mile long and 250 feet wide.

Frederic Ward Putnam, of Harvard's Peabody Museum of American Archaeology and Ethnology, explored the Turner Earthworks from 1882 to 1911. He uncovered a wonderful variety of artifacts crafted from copper, mica, and other exotic materials. Of particular note, are a series of small ceramic figurines representing Hopewell men and women in various poses. These figurines give us an intimate view of the past revealing clothing, hairstyles, jewelry, and a sense of how these ancient people viewed themselves.

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