FORT HILL,
PAINT VALLEY

THE CEREMONIAL CENTER

On this level part of the site, Hopewell people planned their largest ceremonial space. First, they scraped away grass and earth to reach a clay layer. They mixed clay and water to create a very hard floor surface. It’s been called “Hopewell concrete!” No one yet knows what features were built here first.

But over several generations, people were performing ceremonial rituals here. They dug pits and built fires. They covered certain areas with stones, or multi-colored clay. Buildings large and small were erected here, to shelter or enclose the ceremonies. They brought many precious things to the site, often breaking and burning them before placing them in ritual deposits. Two of these were so large they are called “The Great Deposits.”

And, people were buried here: one hundred and two in all just within this single, ceremonial space.

Fort Hill, Paint Valley

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