COSHOCTON — Ohio is home to the most spectacular concentration of ancient earthworks in the world. They are so complex and extensive that they have been nominated for World Heritage Status with UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization).
The United States already has 21 sites (the Grand Canyon, the California Redwoods, Yellowstone National Park …), and we may become a neighbor to the 22nd.
Saturday, July 25 at 3 p.m., the Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum hosted Bruce Lombardo, National Park Service Interpretive Ranger at the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, to discuss the uniqueness of the Ohio Hopewell Earthworks.
For one, these marvelous Native American ceremonial complexes are immense and geometrical, with surprisingly precise dimensions and astronomical alignments. Who built them? How and why were they constructed? These questions are among the many mysteries left behind by the ancient people we refer to as the Hopewell Culture.
Nine archeological sites of monumental earthworks constructed by the Ohio Hopewell culture during the Woodland Period (1-1000 CE) are included in the nomination. That the earthworks were recently nominated for World Heritage Status with UNESCO is proof of their global significance. They are located within three archaeological preserves in the south-central portion of the State.
The sites are not just random structures but ceremonial centers characterized by a variety of large earthwork constructions that feature precise geometric shapes and standard units of measure. Also significant is the fact that the mounds contain extensive ritual deposits of finely crafted artifacts. If the nomination is successful, it could mean a significant increase in tourism to Ohio including Coshocton County.
Bruce Lombardo has been a regional naturalist for Ohio State Parks and a National Park Service Interpretive Ranger off and on the past thirty years. He is founding director of the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy from 2010 to the present and Interpretive Ranger at the Hopewell Culture national Historical Park since 2008. Bruce is a popular speaker throughout Ohio.
The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum is open daily from noon to 5 p.m. Admission prices are adults, $4; students, $3; and families (two adults with children under 18), $11. The Ohio Hopewell Earthworks presentation is free with admission.
The Johnson-Humrickhouse Museum is located in Historic Roscoe Village, a restored canal-era town sited along the former Ohio & Erie Canal, at 300 N. Whitewoman St.
For more information contact the museum at 740-622-8710 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: This article was originally posted on the Times Reporter’s website here.