Near Chillicothe in Ross County, Ohio — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
A Sacred Purpose
— Hopewell Culture National Historical Park — Mound City Group —
Some 2,000 years ago the Mound City Group contained the highest density of mounds of any of the Hopewell earthworks, 24 in a 13-acre area. Today 22 can be counted. One of the missing mounds (Mound 15) is present in outline only, marked by the postholes of a ceremonial building that predates the mound. The other mound was excavated over a century ago and its precise location is unknown.
We don't know what the Hopewell called the site, only that they used it in a purposeful manner-for social, religious, and burial purposes. Before they built each mound a ceremonial building was erected on the site. Ceremonial leaders performed complex rituals inside these buildings, including cremating the bodies of their deceased.
Perhaps a sacred burial process might have unfolded like this…
In a wood building covered with bark, smoke rises from the roof as a ceremonial leader, bent in ritual, cremates the remains of a respected society member. Copper ornaments and pearl and shell beads are placed with the remains. The ceremonial leader then covers the remains with a small mound of clay. In time, the building is dismantled.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Anthropology & Archaeology • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Native Americans.
Location. 39° 22.567′ N, 83° 0.386′ W. Marker is near Chillicothe, Ohio, in Ross County. Marker can be reached from Ohio Route 104 1.7 miles north of U.S. 35. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 16062 State Route 104, Chillicothe OH 45601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Ancient Monuments (within shouting distance of this marker); A Flourishing Culture (within shouting distance of this marker); Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (within shouting distance of this marker); Casualties of War (within shouting distance of this marker); Cultural Transitions (within shouting distance of this marker); Mound 7 Mica Splendor (within shouting distance of this marker); Effigy Pipes (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Chillicothe.
Also see . . .
1. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. This web link was both published and made available by, "Touring Ohio." (Submitted on July 15, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.)
2. Mound City Group. This link is published and made available by, "Ohio History Central," an online encyclopedia of Ohio History. (Submitted on July 15, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.)
3. Mound City Group. This web link is provided by the National Park Service. (Submitted on July 15, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio.)
Credits. This page was last revised on March 7, 2021. It was originally submitted on July 15, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. This page has been viewed 1,073 times since then and 11 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 15, 2009, by Dale K. Benington of Toledo, Ohio. 3. submitted on January 28, 2021, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Craig Swain was the editor who published this page.