Just north of Chillicothe, Ohio, sits a place that looks like short, rolling hills. Rather than a natural formation, you're gazing upon the Midwest's version of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. These Read more...
Just north of Chillicothe, Ohio, sits a place that looks like short, rolling hills. Rather than a natural formation, you're gazing upon the Midwest's version of the Great Pyramids of Egypt. These are the ancient burial mounds of the Hopewell Culture, a place where people buried their honored dead.
No one knows what tribe built these earthen hills, but historians call them the Hopewell because of their peaceful nature. Historians do know that they are burial mounds, laid out in various geometric shapes. On the site of the Hopewell burial mounds, you see as many as 23 mounds of varying heights on 15 acres. This was before the time of massive, earth-moving machinery. The manpower needed to make these structures was immense.
Perhaps more astonishing is the age and number of mounds. Archaeologists estimate the Hopewell built these mounds sometime between 200 BC and 500 AD. There are dozens of sites in the area, some of which go back even earlier than the Hopewell mounds.
Regular events happen at this historic site. Every Saturday morning in June and July, take part in free yoga sessions. Archaeologists run programs for kids to teach them what it's like to dig for artifacts. Some years, the park hosts a float on Paint Creek. The visitor's center shows what life may have been like for the Hopewell people, but the real fun is getting close to one of the mounds. A few spots rise more than 10 feet above you and spread out for several yards. The mounds make you feel both small and in awe of the people who once lived here.