National Park Service


Date of this Version



Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley Volume 1, Number 1, May 1995


1. Editorial Policy and Numbering Procedure

This newsletter is intended to provide an informal forum for distributing and exchanging news about research, data, interpretation, public education, and events relating to Hopewell archeology in the Ohio River valley. It will promote the study of Hopewell archeology, cooperation between researchers, and public education about Hopewell archeology. The Newsletter is a joint effort of the Midwest Archeological Center in Lincoln, Nebraska and Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, Ohio. Hopewell Archeology is published twice a year, and is numbered consecutively.

Hopewell Archeology publishes short news items, book reviews, short research papers and research notes relating to Hopewell archeology in the Ohio River valley. Information about other Middle Woodland cultures that relate to the Hopewell will also be considered for publication. Items for potential inclusion to the newsletter may be submitted to either office.

2. From the Editor, Mark J. Lynott

When I first visited Ross County in 1978, I felt very fortunate to get to see some of the Hopewell sites which are so well known in North American archeology. I was very impressed with the number, size and configuration of the earthworks that had been described by Squier and Davis in 1848. At that time, the National Park Service was involved in what they called a "new area study" of the Hopeton Earthworks. The Hopeton Earthworks was recommended for inclusion in the National Park System as an important manifestation of the Hopewell culture, and because the Hopewell culture remains a fascinating and important part of humanity's past.

3. 1992 Legislation Means Change

On May 27, 1992, Public Law 102-294 mandated significant changes for Mound City Group National Monument and Hopewell archeology. In addition to changing the name of Mound City Group National Monument to Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, it expands the boundary of the park to include:

  • a. additions to Hopeton Earthworks,
  • b. High Banks Works,
  • c. Hopewell Mound Group,
  • d. Seip Earthworks.

4. Profile of an Archeologist: Bret J. Ruby

On January 23, 1995, Bret J. Ruby started a new phase in his life when he began his duties as Park Archeologist at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. Bret was hired as part of the National Park Service's Cultural Resources Professionalization Initiative. This initiative is designed to improve cultural resource management in the parks by increasing the number of professionals assigned to park staffs.

5. Research Notes

In August, 1994, Mark Lynott (NPS) directed a crew from the Midwest Archeological Center in test excavations. The testing was conducted in the area where the parallel walls entered the floodplain of the Scioto River. Fifteen square meters were excavated, and a light scatter of habitation debris was found across the entire landform. A single pit feature containing firecracked rock, macrobotanical remains, and a small amount of lithic debris was exposed. Analysis of this material is ongoing at the Midwest Archeological Center. Further studies relating to Hopeton will continue in 1995.

6. 1995 Research at the Hopeton Earthworks

The National Park Service and The Ohio State University are planning a cooperative research program at a site near the Hopeton Earthworks. The site is located on lands owned by the Chillicothe Sand and Gravel Company, who have agreed to make the site available for research. The Ohio State University will offer a fieldschool in archeological methods, and the National Park Service will provide equipment and personnel to participate in the research. The project will begin June 19, 1995 and continue through July 25, 1995. The National Park Service plans to sponsor a series of public lectures in association with the field school.

7. Recent Archeological Explorations at the Newark Earthworks By Dr. Bradley Lepper of the Ohio Historical Society

In 1815, Robert Walsh, Jr. made a map of the Newark Earthworks which represents one of the earliest efforts to record the grand complex of Hopewellian geometric enclosures in the Raccoon Creek valley. This map, while neither remarkably accurate, nor complete, is significant for historical reasons certainly, but also because Walsh made observations which document features not noted by previous or subsequent students of the Newark Works. Recent developments at Octagon State Memorial afforded the opportunity for archeologists from the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) to look for surviving traces of one of these features.

8. Ceramic Compositional Analysis

9. Hopewell Archeology at the British Museum

10. Education: Reaching Out to Schools

11. Investigations at the Flint Ridge State Memorial, Ohio, 1987-1988 By Richard W. Yerkes, Ohio State University

12. Meeting and Events Calender