Monday, July 25, 2011

Adena Hopewell's, Dunlap, Hopeton, and Cedar Banks Earthworks in Ross County, Ohio

A Standard History of Ross County, Ohio  1917
    Here was a seat of the Mound Builders densest population.  A section of tweleve miles of the Scioto Valley, having as its central point the City of Chillicothe, exhibits ten groups of large works, accompanied by a great number of mounds.  Within one enclosure, "Mound City," there are twenty-four tumuli, and the wole surface of the country round about may he said to be dotted with them.  Of the ten enclosures which appear in this comparatively small territory, four have 2 1/2 miles of embankments each, and two of them enclose an area of 100 acres apiece, while the others embrace areas of no small magnitude.

Mound City in Chillicothe Ohio

Dunlap Works located North of Chillicothe, Ohio.  It is worth noting that a platform mound was located adjacent to this work.  Platform mounds are associated with the Late Woodland starting after 500 A.D., while the earthwork is associated with the Middle Woodland that could date from 0-500 A.D. 
     One of the most singular of the remains is what is known as the Dunlap's, situated on the right bank of the Scioto, six miles above Chillicothe, and near the infirmary.  It is lozenge shaped or rhomboidal, measures 800 feet  on each side, and has an avenue 1,130 feet long, extending to the southeast, and a short avenue leading from a gateway to the north and connecting with a small circle.  Along the western walls runs the bank of a plain, elevated a number of feet above the level of the work, upon the brow of which is situated on outwork 80 feet wide by 280 in length.  It overlooks the larger work and has a gateway leading to it, and the bank seems to have been graded to more gentle descent. Within a distance of about three quarters of a mile are a number of mounds, one of which is about fifteen feet high, truncated and having an area at the top, the diameter of in a line with the avenue an which is about fifty feet, the base being 100 feet in diameter.  These are the only monuments known which are reached by the overflow of the river.  The truncated mound was the place of refuge during the high water of 1832, of a family, with their cattle, horses and other stock, numbering 100.  This mound was opened by Messrs. Squire and Davis and an imperfect examination made by them before they had acquired the large knowledge of the subject.  Many fragments of rude pottery and a few whole specimens have been found inn the vicinity of these works.
     Hopetown Earthworks has several interesting features including the graded way that is aligned to the winter solstice sunset. The circle 1050 feet in diameter that repeats at Highbank and at Newark.
1050 is 210 X 5 =1050.  The number 210 also shows up in several works, including Portsmouth, Ohio where the square on the other side of the Ohio River, in Kentucky has a graded way that is 210 feet wide and 2100 feet long. The most prevalent use of the length of 210 is in the many henges across Indiana and Ohio that are 660 feet in circumference or 210 X pi = 660.  If this isn't enough evidence that the mound builders were using complex mathematics, then the fact that the circle and square have equal areas shows knowledge of knowing how to square a circle
The sacred via at Hopeton was aligned to the winter solstice sunset. The area of the circle and square were equal showing that it's buiders were famililiar with advanced mathematics and how to sqaure a circle.  Also of interest is that there are circular henges that are 250 feet in diameter; a measurement that will reoccur in many of the later henges,  constructed by the Hopewell Sioux.
  The henge nearest the circle has a gateway that is duplicated at the octagon at Newark.  This gateway is also found at the Hilltop enclosure at Carlisle, Ohio and at Spruce Hill.

    What is known as the Hopetown group of works is situated four miles north of Chillicothe, on the east bank of the Scioto.  These works conssit of a circle and in conjunction therewith a much more important enclosure, which appears at first glance to be a rectangle, though in reality it is an irregualr octagon.  The circle extends into the octagonal enclosure, instead of being connected in the usual manner.  The octagonal enclosure measures 900 X 950 feet, and the diameter of the circle is 1050 feet.  The walls of the circle are now very slight, but, although cultivated for many years, can still be easily traced. They were never more than three or four feet in height.  Some portions of the wall of the octagonal enclosure have been, to a certain extent, modified in height and form by the plow.  It shows upon this, the western side, a height of about twelve feet and the crest of the embankment is sufficiently wide to accommodate a horse and carriage.  In the center of the octagonal enclosure was, undoubtedly, a place for sacrifice, or an alter upon which possible burned the perpetual fire that have formed a feature in the worship in the worship of the ancient race.  The stones which originally formed the floor or alter, now scattered by successive  plowings over an area of several rods, show unmistakable signs of having been subjected to intense heat.  Slight traces remain of two or three mounds that were within the enclosure.  Two small circles are continuous to the octagon upon the east side, and 400 or 500 feet to the north there is another circle 250 feet in diameter.  There are parallel walls extending from the northwestern corner of the octagon towards the river to the southwest, and they terminate at the edge of the terrace where the river certainly once had its coarse, and very probably, in the time of the Mound Builders' occupancy of the country.  The walls were very slight
It was only after publishig the mound guide that I became aware that parts of this earthwork still remain. This work. like the Dunlap earthwork had a platform mound in the center that is more associated with the Late Woodland, when archaeologists claim the Hopewell Culture had stopped constructing earthworks.

About a mile northeast of the works we have just described is the 'Cedar Bank" enclosure, situated upon the table lands bordering the river. It consists of a wall and outer ditch, which constitute three sides of a parallelogram, of which the fourth side is protected by a bank or bluff seventy feet in height. The size of the enclosure is 1050 X 1400 feet.  There are gateways, each sixty feet wide, at the centers of the northern and southern sides.  Just inside of the northern entrance is an elevated square 250 feet long by 150 feet broad, and 3 or 4 feet high, with the remains of which were, doubtless, graded ways at each end.  Parallel walls connected at the ends occur in connection with htis work.
  The Columbus pike passes obliquely through them.  About one third of a mile south of these works there is a small circle, having a double walls, extending half of its circumference, and an elevated square or truncated pyramid of about 120 feet base.  
Henge with interior work at Cedar Banks.  An identical earthwork can still be seen at Yorktown, Indiana.
All around are minor works consisting of little mounds and circles, and small low terraces mostly obliterated by time and the ploughshare.