Category Archives: Earthworks

Octagon Earthworks Open House

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

Newark, Ohio’s Octagon Earthworks Open House will be held Sunday, April 11th and Monday, April 12th. The earthworks will be open from daylight to dusk, and our staff will be on site from Noon–4pm each day to answer questions about its features and history.
Part of the larger Newark Earthworks complex and built by ancient American Indians, the Octagon Earthworks consists of a 50-acre, 8-sided enclosure with earthen walls measuring about 550 feet long and five to six feet in height. Between 100 B.C. and 500 A.D., this architectural wonder of America was part cathedral, part cemetery and part astronomical observatory. The Octagon Earthworks are aligned to the four moonrises and four moonsets that mark a complicated 18.6-year-long lunar cycle.

While there, you can also explore the Great Circle, a short distance by car. Upon arrival, guests are encouraged to follow the signs for a self-guided tour. (Note due to limited capacity and ongoing COVID concerns the museum and restrooms will be closed). The Great Circle Earthworks is nearly 1,200 feet in diameter and was likely used as a vast ceremonial center by its builders. The 8 feet (2.4 m) high walls surround a 5 feet (1.5 m) deep moat, except at the entrance where the dimensions are even greater and more impressive. The Great Circle will be open from daylight to dusk.

If you can’t make it to the open house days in April, you can also visit on July 26 or October 17. Get more info below. 

The Octagon Earthworks is located at 125 North 33rd Street in Newark, on the grounds of Moundbuilder’s Country Club.

For more information, go to our link to the Ohio History Connection website. CLICK HERE:

Free Webinar To Discuss Prospects Of World Heritage Status For Hopewell Culture Earthworks

Presented By Hometown-Motors, Inc.

A free webinar planned for March 25th at 3pm will highlight the eight 2,000-year-old American Indian earthworks in the middle Ohio River Valley that constitute the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks World Heritage nomination for World Heritage status.

Conceived and designed as ceremonial centers, these immense earthworks are the finest expressions of the cultural flowering and distinctive genius of Indigenous peoples who participated in a social or religious movement that touched much of North America.

A press release from the Ohio History Connection explains how you can learn of the two major changes over the past dozen years that are transforming understanding and interpretation of these amazing places: first, reconnection of American Indian Tribal Nations that were forcibly removed from Ohio in the 19th century, and second, advances in methods of archaeological research and interpretation. 
Chief Glenna Wallace of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, National Park Service staff and Ohio History Connection staff will share how the prospect of World Heritage designation is propelling these changes, which in turn fuel a vision for full collaboration and co-management in the near future.

Other speakers include Burt Logan, who became the Executive Director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection in December of 2009. Established in 1885, the Ohio History Connection is a private, nonprofit organization that serves as the state’s partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, archaeology, natural history and historic architecture. He oversees more than 200 employees and a $20 million operating budget.

Prior to moving to Columbus, Burt was executive director/president of the U.S.S. Constitution Museum in Boston from 1995 to 2009. He served as the director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, from 1986 to 1995. He began his museum career as executive director of the Wyoming Historical and Geological Society in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania from 1983 to 1986. 

Dr. Brad Lepper earned his B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University. His primary areas of interest include the Ice Age peoples of North America, Ohio’s magnificent American Indian mounds and earthworks, and the history of North American archaeology.

Dr. Lepper has written extensively on these subjects for both technical journals and magazines intended for a general audience. He is the author of the book, Ohio Archaeology: an illustrated chronicle of Ohio’s ancient American Indian cultures, published in 2005 by Orange Frazer Press. He also writes a monthly column on archaeology for the Columbus Dispatch. Dr. Lepper also taught in the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Denison University and the Department of Anthropology at The Ohio State University at Newark.

Dr. Bret Ruby has a keen interest in the ancient and modern histories of American Indian peoples. He has directed archeological fieldwork in the North American Midwest, Southwest, and Pacific Northwest for nearly 30 years. His primary research interests focus on Hopewell archeology—the archeology of an American Indian religious movement that swept over the Eastern Woodlands nearly 2000 years ago.

He has published widely on community organization, craft production, and inter-regional interaction during the Hopewell period. Most recently, he’s forged an international partnership with the German Archaeological Institute to complete a landscape-scale geomagnetic survey in the park. This research revealed a rich array of previously unknown ceremonial architecture, including several ditched enclosures and monumental timber post circles or “woodhenges.”

The webinar will be moderated by Jennifer Aultman, Director of Historic Sites and Museums and World Heritage Project Director, Ohio History Connection.

The webinar is free, but registration is required.  CLICK HERE:

Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks Working Closer To World Heritage Designation

Presented By McDonald’s, I’m Lovin’ It!

A presentation regarding the status of World Heritage nomination for the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks was given at the PACCAR Medical Education Center in Chillicothe in 2019. Dan Ramey/Litter Media

(CHILLICOTHE, OH) – The Ross-Chillicothe Convention & Visitors Bureau would like to provide an update to the community regarding the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks World Heritage nomination. The Ohio History Connection in consultation with the National Park Service continue efforts in preparing the application dossier as part of the nomination process. This dossier will be the official document submitted and reviewed by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) on behalf of the World Heritage Committee.

Currently, the projected timeline reflects that work on the application dossier will continue into summer and possibly into fall of this year. However, it is anticipated that the U.S. Department of State may submit the completed dossier to the World Heritage Committee in early 2022 which then could be reviewed by ICOMOS in late 2022 or early 2023. Unfortunately, this timeline is not fixed so it is possible that due to processes or events beyond the control of stakeholders that this timeline could be delayed.

“We are optimistic that the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks will be on the World Heritage List in just a few short years,” said Burt Logan, Executive Director and CEO of Ohio History Connection. “Our work continues to bring this prestigious recognition to Ohio.”

Recently, Ohio has been invited to present on the significance of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks nomination to the United States International Committee on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS). Ohio History Connection representatives will share insights during this presentation on why the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks deserves to be included on the prestigious World Heritage List. Chief Glenna Wallace of the Eastern Shawnee, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, and staff from the Ohio History Connection will share remarks during the presentation. Being invited to present in this forum is an honor reserved for sites already on the World Heritage List and those nearest to potential designation.

The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks nomination includes 2,000-year-old American Indian Earthworks sites in central and southern Ohio. The Newark Earthworks in Licking County and Fort Ancient in Warren County are Ohio History Connection sites; the National Park Service owns the five sites of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Ross County which make up the nomination. There are currently only twenty-four sites within the United States that are recognized on the World Heritage List. The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks would be the first World Heritage inscription for the state of Ohio.