: Dated to the 1920s or 1930s, this lantern slide shows the large circular enclosure at the Octagon Earthworks in Licking County, Ohio. It was taken from the Observatory Mound looking southeast.
The Newark Earthworks complex was located on a wide glacial terrace southwest of the original confluence of Raccoon Creek and the Licking River in Newark, Licking County, Ohio. It was constructed by people of the Hopewell Culture between approximately 100 BC and AD 400. When first surveyed in the 1840s, the earthworks covered an area of four square miles, making it perhaps the world’s single largest archaeological landscape outside Egypt’s Giza Plateau. Overall the complex seems to be a lexicon of Hopewell earthwork design with counterparts found elsewhere within the Hopewell sphere, particularly in the lower Scioto Valley. These forms include large and small circles, parallel walls, ovals, squares and octagons.
Unfortunately as Newark’s city limits expanded in the late 19th century, much of the earthwork complex fell victim to development. Only the Great Circle, a 1200-foot circular embankment with an interior ditch, and the Octagon Earthworks, a conjoined circle and segmented octagon that functions as a precise lunar observatory, have managed to survive to present times. To note, neither of these earthworks survived out of a pure sense of preservation but rather as notable oddities on the landscape; the Great Circle as a 19th century fairgrounds/amusement park and the Octagon as a military training camp and presently as a golf course. Both sites are owned by the Ohio History Connection and are among seven Ohio Hopewell Ceremonial Earthwork sites under consideration by the United States Department of the Interior for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. View on Ohio Memory.
: AV144_B01_01 Subjects
: Mounds--Ohio; American Indians--Archaeology; American Indians in Ohio; Newark (Ohio); Hopewell culture Places
: Newark (Ohio); Licking County (Ohio)