: Serpent Mound is a spectacular effigy earthwork of a serpent uncoiling along a prominent ridgetop in northern Adams County, Ohio. Excavations between 1887 and 1889 by Frederic Putnam, of Harvard University's Peabody Museum, revealed the structure of the earthwork, but Putnam did not find any artifacts that revealed the age or cultural affiliation of the mound. Until recently, archaeologists assumed that Serpent Mound was built by the Adena culture (800 B.C. to 100 A.D.) since two Adena burial mounds are located nearby. Yet Putnam also discovered traces of a village of the Fort Ancient culture (1000 A.D. to 1650 A.D.) near the Serpent. Excavations conducted in 1991 recovered charcoal that returned radiocarbon dates suggesting that the Fort Ancient people built the mound between about 1025 A.D. and 1215 A.D..
Frederic Putnam saved Serpent Mound from destruction. On his urging, funds were raised for Harvard University to purchase the site. Later, the ownership was transferred to the Ohio Historical Society, and Serpent Mound is now recognized as a National Historic Landmark.
Archaeologists E.G. Squier and E.H. Davis, with the help of surveyor and geologist Charles Whittlesey, systematically documented the Indian works and compiled them into an 1847 book called "Ancient monuments of the Mississippi Valley: Comprising the results of extensive original surveys and explorations." View on Ohio Memory.
: AL08639 Subjects
: Mounds--Ohio River Valley; American Indians--Archaeology; Ohio River Valley--Antiquities; Earthworks (Archaeology) Places
: Peebles (Ohio); Adams County (Ohio)