LOWER SCIOTO VALLEY
Take US 23 south out of Piketon and turn left onto State Route 32, then immediately left again into a dead end spur that reaches Mound Cemetery in Wakefield, with several Adena-era mounds.
A large, Adena-era conjoined mound stands in the center of the cemetery, topped by a flag and surrounded by graves both old and new. Early white settlers typically recognized the ancient mounds as sacred sites of burial, and one way of attempting respect, and ensuring preservation, was to plan new cemeteries around them. The large mound is linked to smaller segments by a large, unusual, undulating “apron” form.
One million years ago, the giant river valleys around this spot belonged to the pre-glacial Teays River. North America’s largest river system used to flow northward here, before being gradually dammed up by the glaciers and then reversing course. Here at Piketon was a major confluence, a huge landmark on the continent’s primordial surface. The valleys are still clearly visible as they converge on this spot: one now holding the south-flowing Scioto, the other, tiny “Big Beaver Creek.”