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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 – Oregonia, OH

Tying Up Loose Ends

2

dec

Keith Bengtson will lead a comprehensive workshop on the art of American Indian textiles. Examples of Native plants used for fiber in the Midwest will be shown and processed.

Participants will be able to make their own twined fiber bag. Materials will be provided. Examples of reproduced items will be on display along with reference materials for future study.

Program runs from Noon–4 p.m. Pre-registration is REQUIRED. To register, please email Phall@ohiohistory.org.

$15 program fee + general admission for non-members. Admission is free for members.

General site admission–$7/Adult, $6/Senior & Child (age 6–17).

News

An Event Two Millennia in the Making

19

oct

On Saturday, October 14, over 600 people gathered at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. They were there to celebrate the creative genius of the American Indian people we now call the Hopewell culture, who designed and constructed earthen mounds and earthworks in southern Ohio along the banks and tributaries of the Scioto River. Among the… Read More

News

Ancient Brilliance: An Open House at the Newark Earthworks Celebrates UNESCO World Heritage Designation

15

oct

The Newark Earthworks, and six other connected sites in Ohio, were recently added to the UNESCO World Heritage list, the first such listing in Ohio. On Sunday, October 15, a commemoration was held in Newark to mark that occasion. A formal ceremony was held at the Great Circle on Hebron Road. Both Jeff Hall, the… 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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