National Park Service


Date of this Version



Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley Volume 5, Number 1, June 2002


1. Preliminary Report, 2001 Investigations, Hopeton Earthworks

Although the Hopewell mounds and earthworks of Ross County, Ohio, have been well known to the scientific community for more than 150 years, many simple and basic questions have yet to be answered about the sites, and about the people and culture who built them. Early archeological research focused on mounds and mortuary behavior (e.g., Squier and Davis 1848; Thomas 1894; Mills 1922; Moorehead 1922) and yielded a great deal of information about the artistic and ritual aspects of Hopewell life.

Recent trends in Hopewell research have emphasized settlement pattern analysis and the relationships of the larger mound and earthwork sites to smaller villages and hamlets (Dancey and Pacheco 1997; Pacheco 1996). Comparisons among the large mound and earthwork sites have demonstrated some broad general similarities, but the structure and configuration of most sites are surprisingly diverse. The most thoughtful attempts to build broad explanatory models about the Hopewell world continue to be plagued by a lack of understanding about the chronology, structure, and function of individual earthwork sites. We believe this can be overcome with sustained, multi-year studies of individual earthwork sites. The Midwest Archeological Center has initiated a long-term study of the Hopeton Earthworks. This paper summarizes the results of research conducted in 2001.

Research Area

2. The John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in National Park Service Archeology

PREFACE: In honor of his long and distinguished career and his pioneering contributions to professional archeology within the National Park System, this unofficial annual award was established by agency staff as inspiration for student and professional archeologists to continue Dr. John L. Cotter’s model of excellence.

PURPOSE: To recognize a specific archeological project within a unit of the National Park System, conducted by National Park Service staff, cooperator, permittee, or consultant as guided by senior National Park Service staff archeologist(s), each fiscal year, which meets or exceeds the criteria below.

AWARD: The selected project lead person(s) will receive a commemorative non-monetary award and certificate bearing name(s) of principal investigator(s), project dates and field unit name. Presentation of award shall be at a suitable gathering of NPS archeological staff, followed by a brief project presentation. The award will be announced through official NPS public affairs channels.

3. Reply to Mark Lynott’s Review of Mysteries of the Hopewell

In the previous issue of Hopewell Archeology (Vol. 4, No. 2, pp. 8-9) Dr. Mark Lynott reviewed Mysteries of the Hopewell: Astronomers, Geometers, and Magicians of the Eastern Woodlands by William F. Romain. Mr. Romain’s response to the review is presented here.

4. Meeting Calendar

Midwest Archaeological Conference 48th Annual Meeting

October 3-6, 2002 Ramada Hotel and Conference Center, Columbus, Ohio. Conference information is available at

Southeastern Archaeological Conference 59th Annual Meeting

November 6-9, 2002 Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi. Conference information is available at


The next issue of Hopewell Archeology will feature the discovery of a new earthen circle at the Hopewell site and an update on the continuing research at the Hopeton Earthworks. We are always looking for short contributions relating to Hopewell archeology. Potential authors should contact the editor.

5. Detecting the Shriver Circle Earthwork, Ross County, Ohio

Ephraim Squier and Edwin Davis surveyed the Mound City Group area over 150 years ago. Although primarily interested in this earthwork complex, with its more than 20 mounds surrounded by a low embankment, their map also depicted an oblong circular enclosure located less than 1,500 feet from Mound City’s southern embankment wall. Named after Henry Shriver, owner of the surrounding farmland in the mid-1800s, the Shriver Circle consists of a large circular embankment flanked by an exterior ditch (Figure 1). Six gateways break the circumference of the circle, which has a diameter exceeding 1,000 feet. In the 1840s, the embankment measured 5 feet high and 25 feet wide at the base, while the ditch was 4 feet deep and 20 feet wide (Squier and Davis 1848:Plate XIX).

Reference Cited