FORT HILL,
PAINT VALLEY

SEIP AND BAUM

A few miles east of Seip Earth-works, along Paint Creek, lies a similar site called Baum. Archaeologist N’omi Greber:

One of the remarkable things about Seip, this huge circle, medium sized circle, and big square, is that within practically eyesight there’s another very large earthwork that has a very similar design, and they are in a sense mates; but the land within and around them was used somewhat differently. However, they are, look as if they had been designed by the same architect, and possibly made by the same engineering crew. It’s remarkable to have two such huge, it’s like having two great cathedrals next to each other, but perhaps one being St. Joseph, and one being St. John.

Within eleven miles of Seip were four other sites with remarkable similarties, all designed with almost identical principles, very likely by the same experts. Frankfort, to the north, Baum, nearby along the valley, and Works East and Liberty over in the Scioto Valley, south of Chillicothe.

All five are composed of three main parts: a forty-acre circle, a twenty-seven acre square, and an eleven-acre circle. Each one also has some infill space, which although different in all five, brings the total area of each to an identical seventy-eight acres. Identical squares also are at nearby Hopewell, and far away Marietta.

Archaeologist Warren De Boer speculates that these exactly duplicated shapes correspond to traditions of “winter” and “summer” houses, which even in historic Indian times are round, and square, respectively. And the three-part composition corresponds to the Big Houses. One new feature here are the openings in the walls of the bigger circles: this, and the more complex combinations, suggest new social patterns, because of their precise correspondences, they may be the latest of all the Hopewell-era geometric enclosures.

Fort Hill, Paint Valley

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