From Ohio History Central
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It is important to emphasize that the Adena culture is not the name of an American Indian tribe. We do not know what these people might have called themselves. Instead, it is a term of archaeological convenience that encompasses similarities in artifact style, architecture, and other cultural practices that distinguish the Adena culture from earlier and later cultures in the region. The name comes from the name of the estate of Governor Thomas Worthington in Chillicothe. A large mound on this property was called the Adena Mound. Since this mound site exemplified all the significant features of the culture, it became the "type site" and the name of the site was applied to the entire culture.