ATH 242-01

Adena mortuary customs, cont’d

log tombs

  • accretional nature often overstated
  • small circular enclosures also found
    • often grouped
    • some have/had posts on enclosure walls
  • burial items:
    • tubular stone pipes, engraved stone tablets
    • quadriconcave stone or copper gorgets
    • copper artifacts
    • animal masks

Grave Creek Mound, Miamisburg Mound, Enon Mound, Cresap Mound

Adena Tools/Artifacts

  • variety of stemmed projectile points
    • small distribution, short chronologies
  • ceramics are crude and thick with large temper particles
  • sandstone tablets
  • copper bracelets, rings, beads (copper not from OH, from Isle Royale in Lake Superior)

Adena pipe

  • dwarf figure
  • earspools
  • dance bustle?
  • legs half-bent

Tablets (sandstone)

  • 12 total
  • palettes?
  • bird imagery
  • only a few known

Ohio Prehistory: Middle and Late Woodland Cultures


  • AD 50 – AD 450
  • Southern OH, IL, IN, MI, WI and some southern Hopewellian cultures
  • external trade relationships
  • mortuary ceremonial system

Hopewell settlement

  • general absence of villages
  • scattered houses along rivers; oval houses
  • nuclear families with small sites
  • hamlets are multi-seasonal and permanent
  • some sites within or adjacent to earthworks
  • vacant ceremonial centers

vacant ceremonial centers

contiguous communities along a river

Hopewell Houses

Hopewell economy

Exotic Raw Materials

  • Copper (Isle Royale)
  • Marine products (shell, barracuda jaws, shark’s teeth from Gulf/Atlantic coasts, gator teeth)
  • Mica (NC)
  • bear canines
  • pearls (freshwater or marine)
  • Galena ore (IL, MO)
  • Ohio pipestone
  • cannel coal
  • steatite
  • silver
  • hematite
  • obsidian
  • chert
  • Knife River chalcedony

other artifacts

  • bladelets and cores
  • projectile points
  • domestic and non-domestic pottery
  • platform pipes

Hopewell mortuary Ceremonialism

  • elaborate earthworks
    • geometric designs (circles, squares, octagons)
    • conjoined geometric shapes
  • avenues or “graded ways”
  • these earthworks include burial mounds
    • small conical mounds and larger mounds

Charnel houses

Harness Mound

  • two connected charnel houses
  • raised floor or secondary floor
  • ring of stones and fence
  • over 100 burials
  • “altars”

Hilltop enclosures

  • about a dozen known in OH
  • function debated
  • Fort Ancient encloses over 100 acres with 18k ft of earthen walls, over 50 openings
  • function long thought to be military
  • current interpretation is religious
    • secondary function as military structure (possible)

The Great Hopewell Road

  • runs between Chillicothe and Newark

Astronomical Alignments: Newark Earthworks

The End of Hopewell

  • “Hopewell” never refers to a cultural phenomenon in which all Hopewell people are united
  • it refers to mortuary ritual and trade
  • the roots lie in ideological commonalities or social competition between leaders
  • what does the end of Hopewell mean?
    • an end to the pursuit of Hopewell ideas or the end of competition

Late Woodland AD 500-1000

clustered in different areas than Middle Woodland

Late woodland pottery

  • grit-tempered
  • vertical cordmarking
  • thin walls

Villages, could house 100 or more

Late Woodland Village Fortifications

Slate discs diagnostic for late woodland, no idea what they’re for

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