Chillicothe Earthworks

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Chillicothe Earthworks.jpg
This map shows the Hopewell mounds and earthworks around Chillicothe Ohio.

The area near what is now Chillicothe, Ohio was in the heartland of the prehistoric Woodland cultures of Native Americans known to archaeologists as the Adena and Hopewell. The importance of this region for these ancient societies is evident in the number and variety of earthworks located in the Scioto River Valley north and south of modern Chillicothe. There are more earthworks per square mile here than in any other part of North America.

The Adena culture (800 B.C. to 100 A.D.) built many of the mounds and some of the smaller circular enclosures in the Chillicothe area. The Adena Mound was formerly located on the estate of Governor Thomas Worthington. Before it was excavated and removed, it was a notable example of a conical burial mound. The Adena culture is named for the Adena Mound.

From about 100 B.C. to 500 A.D. the Hopewell culture built monumental earthworks in a variety of geometric shapes. They included circles, squares, octagons, and ovals. In addition, conical and loaf-shaped mounds were used for the burial of the dead. They often are found associated with the geometric enclosures. The Hopewell site, for which the culture is named, is in the Paint Creek Valley just a few miles from Chillicothe.

Other earthworks in the Chillicothe area include Hopeton, Mound City, Seip Mound and Earthworks, and Story Mound. The Hopeton Earthworks site is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. The site of the Adena Mound, the Hopewell Mound Group, Mound City Group, Seip Earthworks, Story Mound, and other mounds and enclosures near Chillicothe are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [[Category:{$topic}]]