LOWER SCIOTO VALLEY
THE TREMPER MOUND
Continuing south from Sargents, cross the river above Lucasville and follow SR 104 toward Portsmouth. Just past the intersection with SR 73, the Tremper Mound will appear in a slightly-rising field on the right (private land). Excavations beneath its irregular shape uncovered remains of a complex Hopewell-era mortuary building. Twelve basins were probably used for cremation. Remains from about 300 people were accumulated here.
Tremper is best known for its buried collection of 60 effigy smoking pipes, their bowls elegantly carved into the figures of Woodland animals, birds, and humans. Many of these pipes exactly match a collection found at Mound City, 40 miles upstream along the Scioto.
In the form of the pipes, we can recognize the faces and paws, the bills and wings of creatures common in Ohio Valley woods and meadows. Their stone bodies were beautifully formed and meticulously incised. But they were all ritually broken before being buried, to release or to cut their spiritual power.