National Park Service


Date of this Version



Hopewell Archeology: The Newsletter of Hopewell Archeology in the Ohio River Valley Volume 6, Number 1, September 2004.


1. A Message from the Editor: Introducing a New Format; by Mark J. Lynott

Hopewell Archeology was initiated in 1995 to “promote interest in the study and interpretation of Hopewell archeology” (Vol. 1, No. 1, p. 2). Since its inception, we have managed to produce 11 issues (counting the one you are now reading) featuring a wide range of topics. The first issue of this newsletter was printed on standard white paper, and subsequent issues were printed on green paper. This is the first issue of Hopewell Archeology since Volume 5, Number 2 was printed in December 2002.

In 2002 the Midwest Archeological Center was selected for a Competitive Sourcing Initiative Study by the National Park Service. The Competitive Sourcing Initiative (CSI) is designed to compare the cost of activities performed by government workers with the cost of doing those same activities by the private sector. From September of 2002 through October of 2003, employees at the Midwest Archeological Center spent a tremendous amount of time generating information for the CSI Study. Regrettably, this meant that production of Hopewell Archeology and many other important programs at the Center were put on hold while employees worked to generate data to justify keeping their jobs. The Department of the Interior elected to halt the CSI Study at the Center in October of 2003 (“Threats of Privatization Beaten Back”, Lincoln-Journal Star, October 29, 2003).

2. Abstracts of the Summer Lecture Series 2004 at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

Residents of central and southern Ohio and visitors to Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe made a habit of attending the annual Thursday evening summer lecture series. This annual series has been very well received in past years, and the 2004 series was also very popular. The speakers for 2004 generated considerable interest about Ohio archeology, with most of the speakers focusing on Ohio Hopewell. Abstracts of these wonderful lectures are presented below. Plans for next year’s lecture series are already underway, and readers are encouraged to contact Hopewell Culture National Historical Park for details in 2005. Hopewell Culture National Historical Park was pleased to host the summer archeological lecture series. The following is a list of speakers, titles, and abstracts of the topics presented.

3. The Field Museum Hopewell Catalogue Project: Getting the Word Out

The Hopewell Collection at the Field Museum is the world’s second-largest (next to the Ohio Historical Society’s) collection of material culture from the Hopewell site. Recently, Field Museum staff rediscovered cataloging forms from the 1980s and decided to use the information from this unfinished project as a starting block for creating a Hopewell catalogue. The catalogue (which we hope will be published) will act as a tool for disseminating data on the collection as well as serving to pique the interest of additional scholars in the Field Museum’s collection.

4. Survey and Excavations in 2004 at 33RO1059

The Hopewell site (33RO27), with its extensive earthwork complex, is renowned as the type site for the Hopewell culture and has long been a focus for archeological research, beginning as early as 1845 with Squier and Davis. Recently, active erosion along the bank of the North Fork of Paint Creek has drawn attention to archeological resources located outside of the complex that are threatened by the encroaching stream. Site 33RO1059 is located south and east of the Square Enclosure in a formerly cultivated field flanked by Paint Creek on the south (Figure 1). The site was originally identified through observation of artifacts on the surface of the field, but relatively little was known about this site and its relationship, if any, to the earthwork complex.

5. New Discoveries Right in Our Own Front Yard: Preliminary Results of Recent Research at Mound City Group

Mound City Group is probably the most extensively excavated Hopewell earthwork in Ohio. Squier and Davis (1848), William Mills (1922), and a whole host of more recent archaeologists, have conducted excavations within and between the site’s 23 mounds and ca. 950 m of earthen embankment. In addition to their diggings in the mounds, Squier and Davis produced the first map of the 15.6-acre earthwork complex, which included other mounds and earthen enclosures in the vicinity of Mound City (Figure 1). Among these additional mounds and earthworks are a circular enclosure and four mounds to the west and northwest of Mound City. The larger of the two mounds located just south of the small circular enclosure northwest of Mound City, known as the Briggs Mound (33RO7), was excavated in the 1897 by Clarence Loveberry (Moorehead 1899). While Moorehead (1899:136) also mentions another mound that was excavated at the same time in the near vicinity, to our knowledge none of the remaining mounds west and northwest of Mound City that appear on the Squier and Davis map were excavated prior to their disappearance from the landscape. Additionally, only limited work has been conducted in non-mound areas among these enclosures and mounds. To better understand how prehistoric peoples used these earthworks and mounds near Mound City, exploration of non-mound areas must be undertaken. A project begun in June 2003 sought to address this need by studying a small area in the front yard of the visitor center at Mound City.

6. Earthwork Construction and the Organization of Hopewell Society

The mounds and geometric enclosures of southern Ohio have fascinated scholars for two centuries, but many of the questions that sparked the interest of 19th-century antiquarians have yet to be fully addressed today. Contemporary scholars are proposing new and interesting interpretations about these impressive sites, but the sites themselves are disappearing. None of the great geometric enclosures has survived unscathed, and many of them can only be studied now by examining old aerial photographs or reading historic accounts. The need for field investigation of the remaining sites has never been greater.

Archaeological study of geometric enclosures in southern Ohio has been limited, with most work being focused on mounds associated with the enclosures. The large size of these sites has certainly served to deter excavations, and most studies have been limited to one or two summers of excavation. While these studies have generated useful information about some aspect of individual earthworks, none have generated a holistic view of any large geometric enclosure. Fortunately, geophysical survey instruments make it possible to map large areas; these data can be used to plan strategic excavations. The utility of this approach is illustrated by recent work on the rectangular enclosure at the Hopeton Earthworks, Ross County, Ohio.

7. Meeting Calendar for Hopewell Archeology, Volume 6, Number 1, in chronological order:

8. On Referencing and Citing the Newsletter and Other Internet Documents

This is an essay on referencing and citing Internet documents, with special attention to citing this issue and future issues of Hopewell Archeology. The essay begins with a true story about an archaeologist, his conference paper, and the archaeological community. It might seem at first that the introductory story has nothing to do with the Internet, but I hope to show by the end of this essay that the story relates to Internet citation and referencing in several ways.

References Cited