Defining Adena

Archaeologist Martha Otto, former curator at the Ohio Historical Society, talks about how to characterize the "Adena" culture (800 BC to AD 100).


Which plants were domesticated by the Hopewell, how they were grown, and how gardening may have affected the landscape, filmed at the Fort Ancient garden.

Ceremonial Gatherings

An overview of the ways the geometric earthworks may have been used, and how gatherings there were probably multi-purposed.

A Hopewell Settlement

Two houses surround a yard in which objects (flint, squash, hearth, textiles, basket) introduce topics about the daily life of the earthwork builders.


The role of fire in the builders' treatments of deposited items, burials, and the burning down of buildings before mounds and eathworks were raised.

Burning Things

Comparative religion scholar Dr. David Cave discusses the meaning of community ritual burning of meaningful objects across cultures.

Hopewell Hilltops

The nature and variety of Hopewell hilltop enclosures, suggesting how and why they were built.

Precious Materials

An overview of the use and trade of precious materials used in making artifacts associated with the earthworks: copper, obsidian, mica, pearls, and flint.


Aspects of water hold deep meaning in many cultures, suggesting possible intentions behind the water engineering of Adena and Hopewell sites.

Shadows and Time

The nature and probable meanings of solar observations in the Fort Ancient culture, with Andrew Sawyer, curator at SunWatch Village, Dayton.

Earth, Soil

Architectural historian and Project Director John Hancock explains how the earthwork builders understood “earth” itself as an architectural element.


Exploration of the Great Serpent Mound and other effigies now attributed to the Fort Ancient culture, compared with effigies from elsewhere in the Americas.

Agricultural Practices

Archaeologist Bret Ruby explains how the land for miles around earthworks was probably marked by extensive farm fields.


More Ancient Ohio Cultures


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