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Witness ancient brilliance in each of the Hopewell earthworks

A memorable and enriching experience

Discover the Awe-Inspiring Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks

Ohio’s only UNESCO World Heritage Site

Masterpieces of human creative genius, the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are gigantic earthen enclosures built by American Indians 2,000 years ago. They were places of ceremony connected to the cosmos by alignments to key risings and settings of the moon and sun. Come and experience these sacred earthworks of the ancient Hopewell culture and gain a new appreciation of the achievements of Ohio’s Indigenous peoples—as well as a deeper connection to the world and our place in it.

Masterpieces of human creative genius, the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are gigantic earthen enclosures built by American Indians 2,000 years ago. They were places of ceremony connected to the cosmos by alignments to key risings and settings of the moon and sun. Come and experience these sacred earthworks of the ancient Hopewell culture and gain a new appreciation of the achievements of Ohio’s Indigenous peoples—as well as a deeper connection to the world and our place in it.

Where Earth Meets Sky

The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are complex masterpieces of landscape architecture. The huge squares, circles, and octagons, which are geometrically precise and align perfectly with the cycles of the sun and moon, were built by dispersed communities of American Indians who periodically gathered at these special places to worship and stay connected to one another. The earthworks are incredibly big to accommodate those large numbers of people.

Artifacts found at these sites are made from unusual raw materials such as mica from Appalachia, seashells from the Gulf of Mexico, and obsidian from the Rocky Mountains. This shows that people traveled here from the ends of the Hopewell world bringing with them rare and precious gifts. The immense effort this would have required further solidifies these earthworks as centers of human ingenuity.

UNESCO logo

Universally Revered, Globally Recognized

UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Stonehenge, The Great Pyramid of Giza, and the Great Wall of China, must have outstanding universal value to humanity. No matter where they’re located, these sites serve to honor and preserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage. The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks joined more than 1,100 other important places on this distinguished list. It is the first and only UNESCO site in the state of Ohio.

News and Events

Event – Newark, OH

Newark Earthworks Open House

22

jul

Great Circle Earthworks & Octagon Earthworks
July 22

A few times a year, visitors are invited to fully experience all three segments of Newark’s Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks. Inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2023, these massive artifacts of creative genius served social, ceremonial and astronomical functions for their builders.

Remnants Walking Tour begins at 9 a.m. at the Octagon Earthworks.

Ongoing tours and activities at the Great Circle Earthworks and Octagon Earthworks from 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Event – Chillicothe, OH

Last Sunday of the Month Ranger Tour Series

28

jul

 

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

Upcoming tour: July 28

Two thousand years ago, the region between Seip Earthworks and Chillicothe was one of the most important cultural centers in eastern North America. On high terraces along the Paint Creek and Scioto River valleys, almost two dozen giant geometric earthwork complexes were constructed by American Indians. One of the most magnificent engineering feats of them all was Seip Earthworks. Join a ranger-led tour of this site to learn more!

Tour begins at 10 a.m.

Event – Chillicothe, OH

Mound City Ranger Guided Tours

4

aug

 

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
Daily through August 4

Tours begin at the Mound City Group visitor center at 10 a.m. Rangers will guide visitors into the Mound City Group earthwork. The tour will last approximately one hour and will be mostly in the sun. Visitors should wear comfortable walking/hiking shoes and bring sun protection and bug spray. All terrain at Mound City Group is flat and considered an "easy" hike/walk.

Ranger-led talks beginning at 1 p.m. are approximately 30 minutes in length and do not include a tour. Talks are perfect opportunities to learn more about a variety of topics from park rangers while staying cool in the shade near or in the Mound City Group Visitor Center. Topics change daily.

Feel Ancient Wisdom Written in the Land

You can experience a feeling of wonder, connection, and reverence at each of these amazing earthworks. Find everything you need to plan your visit to one or all of them here.

The People Behind the Earthworks

History & Discovery

Dig deeper into the archaeological discovery of the earthworks, the impact of the arrival of European settlers, and the Indigenous perspectives on their history.

The Hopewell Culture

The ancient American Indian Hopewell culture created these magnificent monuments though cooperation and shared beliefs. The earthworks and the artifacts found there are clues to the way of life of these unique people — a biography written in the land.

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