Wright Earthworks

From Ohio History Central

The Wright Earthworks are remnants of the Newark Earthworks, the largest set of geometric earthworks built by the Hopewell culture (100 B.C. to A.D. 500). Located in central Licking County, the Wright Earthworks consist of a fragment of a geometrically near-perfect square enclosure and part of one wall that originally formed a set of parallel embankments, which led from the square to a large oval enclosure.

The sides of the Newark square originally ranged in length from about 940 to 950 feet and they enclosed about 20 acres. The remaining segment of one wall of the square is less than two hundred feet long.

Farming and construction associated with building the Ohio Canal and the streets and houses of the city of Newark destroyed much of the square enclosure and its associated mounds. The Wright Earthworks are named in honor of Mrs. Frances Rees Wright who donated the site to the Ohio History Connection in 1934.

The surviving parts of the Newark Earthworks are recognized as a National Historic Landmark. In 2006, the State of Ohio designated the Newark Earthworks as "the official prehistoric monument of the state."

See Also


  1. Byers, A. Martin. The Ohio Hopewell Episode: Paradigm Lost and Paradigm Gained. Akron, OH: University of Akron Press, 2004.
  2. 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.
  3. Lepper, Bradley T. "The Newark Earthworks: Monumental Geometry and Astronomy at a Hopewellian Pilgrimage Center", in Hero, Hawk, and Open Hand: American Indian Art of the Ancient Midwest and South, edited by Richard V. Townsend and Robert V. Sharp. Art Institute of Chicago and Yale University Press, 2004.
  4. Lepper, Bradley T. Ohio Archaeology: An Illustrated Chronicle of Ohio's Ancient American Indian Cultures. Wilmington, Ohio, Orange Frazer Press, 2005. 
  5. Pangea Productions. Searching for the Great Hopewell Road. N.p.: Pangea Productions, 1998.
  6. 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.