FORT HILL,
PAINT VALLEY

M’SIKAMEKWI AND GREAT TOMB

The Shawnee people, like other Eastern Woodland tribes, have a special name for a building or ground used for ceremonies: “M’sikamekwi,” Big House Framework. The word suits the great hall built here, 113 feet long, precise and symmetrical in its layout, and nearly identical to another at the Liberty Earthworks, nearby in the Scioto Valley.

Each of its three sections was apparently used by a different social group within the society. There were probably many activities and ceremonies that took place in here, we know that ritual burning and burial were among them. Among the few unburned burials were four young adults and two infants, placed together in a large common tomb and surrounded by thousands of fresh water pearls.

Fort Hill, Paint Valley

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