Aerial photograph of Alligator Mound
Alligator Mound is an effigy mound located in Granville. The mound is 200 feet long and five to six feet high at its highest point. It is located on the top of a bluff overlooking the Raccoon Creek valley.
In spite of its name, the mound likely was not intended to represent an alligator. It is in the shape of a four-footed creature with a round head and a long tail that curls at the end. It resembles an opossum or a panther much more than an alligator. It may represent the Underwater Panther, a supernatural creature thought by many American Indian tribes to reside in lakes and other bodies of water.
Since Alligator Mound is located so close to the Newark Earthworks, archaeologists used to think it was built by the Hopewell culture. Recent studies, however, indicate it was built by the later Fort Ancient culture.
The Alligator Mound is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is owned by the Licking County Historical Society and located on the eastern outskirts of Granville, at the end of Bryn Du Drive.
- Woodward, Susan L., and Jerry N. McDonald. Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley: A Guide to Mounds and Earthworks of the Adena, Hopewell, Cole, and Fort Ancient People. Lincoln: The University of Nebraska Press, 2002.