HOPEWELL CULTURE NATIONAL
Excursions among the monumental antiquities of south central Ohio should begin at Mound City, and
the Visitors Center at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park, with its fine artifact collection
and orientation programs.
To reach Mound City, take Chillicothe’s Main Street two blocks west of Paint Street, then go north on State Route 104 for 3 miles. After passing between two large prisons, enter the Park headquarters on the right. The interactive media program at Mound City provides introductions to the other sites in the region, including those not open to the public.
Outside, walk among the 23 mounds and their low enclosing wall; each covers the remains of a funerary building. Some held spectacular collections such as effigy smoking pipes or shimmering blankets of mica. This place is unique among surviving Hopewell era sites, and may reflect a period of time when mound building was beginning to be augmented by bigger, grander ideas about geometric form and embracing enclosure. Here the people created a collective cultural monument on a much larger scale, a possible prototype for the more precise and complex geometric figures to come.