National Park Service/Tom Engberg
Sunrise at dawn over the Mound City Group at Hopewell Culture National Historic Park in Chillicothe, Ohio.

Earthworks Site in Ohio Saved at Auction

ICTMN Staff
3/24/14

A winning bid of $650,000 by a conservancy group was enough to save the last privately owned Hopewell earthworks site in Ohio from development, reports the Chillicothe Gazette.

The group, Arc of Appalachia, started raising money two weeks before the auction was held on Tuesday, March 18. The group was able to secure the 89.74-acre tract of land, under which the Junction Group lies, with its $350,000 bid. The rest of the money will come from a grant the group expects to receive.

“Obviously, we’re confident, or otherwise, we wouldn’t be bidding tonight,” Nancy Stranahan, Arc of Appalachia director, told the Chillicothe Gazette. “This is a dream come true ... but our love is to put earthworks and nature preserves together.”

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Geoffrey Sea
Geoffrey Sea
Submitted by Geoffrey Sea on
It is, of course, a great triumph that this site has been acquired for preservation. Our group, Adena Core, was part of the consortium that helped raise funds for the acquisition. It is unfortunate that this had to be done so quickly, little thought could go into site characterization or public education, and so some misinformation about the site has unfortunately spread. First of all, the Junction Group was NOT "Hopewell," by any usage of that term. The earthworks were likely constructed between 400 BCE and 1 AD, during the time period that is characterized as Adena by the standard classification in use, not Hopewell. Nearby Serpent Mound has recently gotten a new date of construction which classifies it also as Adena. There is also a general movement of long standing by both American Indians and scientific archaeologists to dispense with the name "Hopewell" altogether. That term no longer has any scientific meaning, and it is insulting to Indians because it honors a man who fought for the Confederacy and opened the Indian cemeteries on his Ohio land to looters. Rather than name a whole indigenous culture after him, it is proposed to call all of the Algonquians of the Ohio Valley during the Woodland Period Adena, a name that has cognates in Algonquiian language. It is also incorrect that "we know that these were gathering places." On the contrary, these were funereal sites and may have been reserved to spirits of the departed. The Junction Group is much more exciting than just a gathering place -- it was likely built as a protective sanctuary for birds, to facilitate their transmission of the spirits of the dead.

Geoffrey Sea
Geoffrey Sea
Submitted by Geoffrey Sea on
It is, of course, a great triumph that this site has been acquired for preservation. Our group, Adena Core, was part of the consortium that helped raise funds for the acquisition. It is unfortunate that this had to be done so quickly, little thought could go into site characterization or public education, and so some misinformation about the site has unfortunately spread. First of all, the Junction Group was NOT "Hopewell," by any usage of that term. The earthworks were likely constructed between 400 BCE and 1 AD, during the time period that is characterized as Adena by the standard classification in use, not Hopewell. Nearby Serpent Mound has recently gotten a new date of construction which classifies it also as Adena. There is also a general movement of long standing by both American Indians and scientific archaeologists to dispense with the name "Hopewell" altogether. That term no longer has any scientific meaning, and it is insulting to Indians because it honors a man who fought for the Confederacy and opened the Indian cemeteries on his Ohio land to looters. Rather than name a whole indigenous culture after him, it is proposed to call all of the Algonquians of the Ohio Valley during the Woodland Period Adena, a name that has cognates in Algonquiian language. It is also incorrect that "we know that these were gathering places." On the contrary, these were funereal sites and may have been reserved to spirits of the departed. The Junction Group is much more exciting than just a gathering place -- it was likely built as a protective sanctuary for birds, to facilitate their transmission of the spirits of the dead.

Arthur MedicineEagle Sonier
Arthur Medicine...
Submitted by Arthur Medicine... on
Thank you to all who were involved to save this ancestral land.

ppmickey's picture
ppmickey
Submitted by ppmickey on
Thank you to the Arc of Appalachia, the Adena Group and all others who contributed to preserve this historic site. Thank you Geoffrey Sea, for pointing out how early Native American's were in Ohio. It's important for people to realize just how early this country was settled by indigenous people. It's sad that this is not a part of the Ohio geography or social studies being taught in our schools. I live in Ohio and it's pathetic that people in this country still think that Christopher Columbus was the first to find America. Why this myth persists to this day is beyond me. Thank you for writing your comments Mr. Sea.
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