Thursday, April 11, 2013

Two Adena Hopewell Mound Builder Earthworks Discovered in Chillicothe, Ohio

New Adena Hopewell Earthworks Discovered in Chillicothe, Ohio

Map is from Squire and Davis "Ancient Monuments" 1848, showing two henge groups on the North Fork of Paint Creek.  A "Henge" is a circular earthwork (generally) with an an outer wall and interior ditch with a singular gateway that aligns to a solar event.

The large donut shape in the field is a large henge that were consistently 660 feet in circumference or 210 feet in diameter.  The dark spot in the center is from a burial mound that was once in the center.  The earthwork to the east of this is barely visible, but was thought to have been mostly erased by the plow. This discovery was originally published in "The Nephilim Chronicles: A Travel Guide to the Ancient Ruins in the Ohio Valley."

The largest henge at Mounds State Park in Anderson, Indiana is 660 feet in circumference. The ditch on the interior is 30 feet in width.

The earthworks depicted to the south were called by Squire and Davis, The Junction Group.  The two henges to the northwest are both 210 feet in diameter or 660 feet in circumferenceThe Junction Group henges are of a later date that is recognized by the decreased size of the interior ditches.  

From Google Earth, the earthwork on the left is easily visible. It appears as if there is still some elevation of the outer earthen wall and the interior ditch is still discernable. To the northeast,  the second earthwork is visible with walls of greater width than the henge to the east.  It is possible that the shape of this earthwork could have been more rectangular, like the earthwork located just to the south.  In contrast to the Squire and Davis map, the gateways of the two henges appear facing each other.  Nearly all of the henges had a gateway that would align with one of the solar events.  The gateway of the western henge is aligned to the summer solstice sunrise. The eastern henge is gateway faces the southwest for the winter solstice sunset.


Large Adena mounds were once numerous around Chillicothe, but have all been destroyed by farming or the Ohio Historical Society.  A burial mound as large as the one above, can still be viewed north of Chillicothe.