“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Chillicothe in Ross County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)

The Hopewell Culture

The Arc Of Appalachia Junction Earthworks Archeological Park & Nature Preserve

The Hopewell Culture Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, March 10, 2019
1. The Hopewell Culture Marker
The Hopewell Culture's Artistic Florescence.
Between 2,200 and 1,500 years ago the Hopewell Culture flourished in the eastern half of North America, becoming one of the most influential cultures to ever to exist on our continent. Centered in what is now southern Ohio, the Hopewell peoples were epic travelers and consummate artists. Living in what is speculated to have been a singularly peaceful environment, they intentionally gathered materials for their ceremonial crafts from far flung places, making journeys to the Great Lakes for copper, Florida for shells, the Carolinas for mica, and Yellowstone for obsidian.

Magnificent Earthworks.
The Hopewell built walled ridge top enclosures, such as Fort Hill and Spruce Hill, and major earthwork complexes on the floodplains, such as Junction and nearby Hopeton and Seip Earthworks. These low elevation monuments were typically surrounded by earthen walls up to 12 feet high, arranged in large geometric shapes that were usually remarkably precise circles and squares. The walls enclosed a few to several dozen acres of land, and were often associated with

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mounds and walled promenades that led to nearby rivers. Some architectural features were aligned to major astronomical events. Mounds could include human burials, sacred art pieces, or sometimes apparently nothing, serving ceremonial purposes we can only guess at today.

Daunting Tasks.
The labor it took to build these immense earthwork complexes required a substantial and well-organized work force. This is especially impressive given that these people were primarily hunter-gatherers with only a limited reliance on garden crops such as squash, sunflower, and a number of small-seeded annuals. Maize was not yet a mainstay, and people tended to live in small households. In Mound 25 at the Hopewell Mound Group a dirt mold of a carrying basket was discovered with a soil carrying capacity of 27 pounds. With such a tool, it would have taken roughly 1.5 million baskets of dirt to create Mound 25 alone, not to mention the site's three miles of walls and the other 40 mounds. Such a demonstration of intense labor has led to speculation that the Hopewell ceremonial centers may have attracted large gatherings of people from great distances away.

Let Us Remember. Junction has been saved to help awaken memories of the indigenous cultures that flourished here 2000 years ago, and the many native peoples who lived on these lands sustainably for 16,000 years

The Hopewell Culture Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, March 10, 2019
2. The Hopewell Culture Marker
of continuous occupation.

World Significance.
While monumental public works of the Mayans, Romans, and Chinese dynasties were being built elsewhere in the world, in the Ohio heartland dozens of landscape-scale earthen constructions were being created without the benefit of dense population centers nor the compulsion of overlords. Perhaps the Hopewell Culture tends to dwell in obscurity because it was long gone by the time Columbus reached the Americas, and the people left behind only a small fragment of their world. Our modern eyes see only what can endure the ages: their monuments of earth and their art of stone. These silent and enigmatic remains are testaments to an extraordinarily artistic, sophisticated and complex culture.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & ArchaeologyNative Americans. A significant historical year for this entry is 2000.
Location. 39° 19.042′ N, 83° 0.758′ W. Marker is in Chillicothe, Ohio, in Ross County. Marker is on Belleview Avenue (County Road 377) 0.1 miles east of Plylyes Lane, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 2 Bellcreek Ln, Chillicothe OH 45601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Ross County Earthworks (here, next to this marker); Dard Hunter (approx. 1˝ miles away); Ross County Civil War Memorial

The Hopewell Culture Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Craig Doda, March 10, 2019
3. The Hopewell Culture Marker
(approx. 1.6 miles away); Quinn Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church (approx. 1.7 miles away); Birthplace of Lucy Ware Webb Hayes / Lucy Webb Hayes, 1831 - 1889 (approx. 1.7 miles away); The Underground Railroad in Chillicothe / Ross County (approx. 1.8 miles away); The First Baptist Church (approx. 1.8 miles away); Story Mound (approx. 1.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chillicothe.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 14, 2021. It was originally submitted on February 14, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 151 times since then and 69 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on February 14, 2021, by Craig Doda of Napoleon, Ohio. • Devry Becker Jones was the editor who published this page.

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Jun. 5, 2023