A magnetic survey done in 2005 revealed the Junction Group below the surface.

Key Adena Earthworks and Preserve Saved in Ohio

Geoffrey Sea

Preserving an Ancient Preserve

The name Junction Group refers to the major fork in Paint Creek, a tributary of the Scioto River important to American Indians for its iron-based pigments (hence its name). The earthwork cluster is the easternmost of a string of earthwork complexes that line the valley of Paint Creek and its westward extension as Rocky Fork. This position provides the key for understanding the plan of the region’s earthworks as well as their function, which has eluded explanation within establishment archaeology: It’s agreed that they were not defensive works (for humans), nor were they habitations, agricultural enclosures, or places of recreation, as various discarded theories have held. They also were not “ceremonial sites,” as the reigning non-explanatory explanation would have it and as is readily apparent by looking at the Junction Group structures and their arrangement.

The unusual nature of the structures is clear from an 1847 drawing of the site, where the black bars represent internal moats that once held water, and the lighter rings around them represent earthen walls, with some conical burial mounds at various locations, as seen below.

Plate XXI, No. 1 from E. G. Squier and E.H. Davis, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, Smithsonian, 1848.

We think of ancient architecture as revolving solely around “two-legged” concerns. But to the ancient Ohioans, protecting bird nests and other life from natural predators with walls and moats fit the concept of sacred mission. These extensive clusters of protective walls and moats around sensitive bird nesting and roosting areas were, in effect, the first bird sanctuaries in North America, a good 2,000 years before Teddy Roosevelt.

Wouldn’t this be a more potent generator of modern interest than just another place where humans allegedly assembled to worship sky gods unknown in the Western Hemisphere?

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