Hopewell Mound Group

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Human Hand Effigy.jpg
Human Hand Effigy, Hopewell Culture, Hopewell Mound Group, Ross Co., A 283/000294

The Hopewell Mound Group is a large Hopewell culture (100 BC-AD 500) ceremonial center located along the North Fork of Paint Creek in Ross County. According to the archaeologist N'omi Greber, the Hopewell Mound Group "contains, in both quality and quantity, the most striking total set of Hopewellian cultural remains" of any site in Ohio. The Hopewell culture is named for the Hopewell Mound Group, which was named for the family that owned the earthworks when the archaeologist Warren K. Moorehead explored the site in 1891 and 1892.

The Hopewell site is surrounded by a six-foot high, roughly rectangular earthen enclosure 2,800 feet long by 1,800 feet wide, known as the Great Enclosure. A perfectly square enclosure of 16 acres was attached to the eastern wall. Within the Great Enclosure there were other, smaller geometric enclosures and more than 30 mounds of various sizes and shapes. The largest of the mounds was a series of three conjoined mounds referred to as Mound 25. Mound 25 originally was 500 feet long, 180 feet wide, and 33 feet high making it as large as a three-story building spanning two city blocks.

Ephraim Squier and Edwin Davis initially investigated the Hopewell Mound Group. A summary of their work appeared in 1848 in Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, the first publication of the Smithsonian Institution. The Davis collection of artifacts is now at the British Museum.

Warren K. Moorehead recovered a remarkable collection of artifacts from the site, which was displayed at the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. The bulk of this collection is now held by the Field Museum in Chicago.

Henry C. Shetrone, Ohio Historical Society archaeologist, excavated much of the surviving portions of the site between 1922 and 1925. The artifacts recovered by these excavations belong to the Ohio Historical Society.

The Hopewell Mound Group is now part of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park and the National Park Service continues to investigate the site. In 2001, archaeologists using remote sensing technology discovered a previously undocumented circular feature.

The Hopewell Mound Group is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. [[Category:{$topic}]]