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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

News

Ancient earthen structures in Ohio become a UNESCO World Heritage Site – CBS Sunday Morning

9

feb

The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks were featured on CBS Sunday Morning. Hear from Dr. Brad Lepper, senior archaeologist at the Ohio History Connection and Dr. John Low, director of the Newark Earthworks Center and citizen of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.

Event – Oregonia, OH

Maple Syrup–Tap That

2

mar

This program will include a brief discussion of Native, colonial, traditional and modern techniques of creating maple syrup, as well as a display of historic techniques showing how people tapped maple trees. Stations will be set up focusing on each of the historical approaches. Different tools will be displayed ranging from birch bark buckets to pipeline systems of the modern sugar bush. We will also compare methods as we boil down sap in both a cast iron kettle and a stainless steel evaporator.

Participants are encouraged to dress appropriately as the program will be held outdoors. This is ongoing throughout the afternoon, from Noon–4 p.m. Participants may drop in on this activity.

General site admission applies for Nonmembers. Regular site admission: $7/Adults, $6/Children (6-17) and Seniors (60+). Children under 5 are free.

 

News

Request for Proposals for a Feasibility Study

4

jan

The Ohio History Connection is seeking a qualified independent consulting firm for the purposes of conducting a feasibility study for Ohio’s only UNESCO World Heritage site, the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks. For more information and how to apply, please refer to the linked document below. Proposals are due Monday, January 29. Request for Proposals for a… Read More

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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