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POTD: Earthworks

POTD: Earthworks
October 15, 2016 Brian Truono
Elaborate earthworks scatter the Ohio countryside, built an estimated two thousand years ago by unknown tribes of Native Americans. Many of the mounds were hundreds of feet long, and several stories tall. Some of these mound groups were expertly laid out in shapes that often mimicked celestial coordinates. Though the official name of the ancient peoples has been lost to time, the given name “Hopewell” comes from Capt. Mordecai Hopewell, the farmer who owned some land where part of the mound cities were discovery. It’s thought that the Hopewell people utilized these plots of land for ceremonial, public spaces, coordinating celestial events, or as burial grounds. The mounds were constructed with careful layering of alternating clays, sand, and soil, which indicate that there was much thought in the process of creation. Beneath those layers, archaeologists discovered post holes in a plastered clay floor, believed to have been to hold the walls of a building or structure. It seems that the buildings were deconstructed and mounds were laid in their place after their purpose was served. Large amounts of artifacts were found buried in the collected earth, most of them were intricate works of art used for ceremonial purpose such as statues, effigies, and pottery. There was little indication of people living amongst the mound cities but there was evidence of hundreds of cremated remains. Perhaps it was all a way to celebrate the lives of the people who live here before. View Print Options

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