Human head sculpture   Save
Human head sculpture
Description: Human head sculpture made of clay by the Ohio Hopewell culture, 100 BC-500 AD. This small clay effigy of a human head (89.8 mm x 75.6 mm) is mottled dark reddish-gray, light reddish-brown, black and dark reddish-brown. The eyes are oval and eye sockets are formed by deeply incised lines. Distinct eyebrow ridges with some incised lines indicate eyebrows above the right eye. Nose has two indentations denoting nostrils. The mouth is slightly open and a ridge denotes the lower lip. There are projections on either side for ears, well-shaped with ear and ear lobes. Behind the left ear, running from the base to the forehead, is a gash that measures 76.6 mm in length. Behind the right ear, there is a gash running from the top of skull to the base that measures 74 mm in length. Base is flat where the neck would begin. There is a 19.7 mm hole in the base, roughly circular in shape, that extends into the head. There is also a hole that is 3 mm in diameter. The back of the head is somewhat flattened. On the top are two holes, roughly 6.3 mm in diameter, that extend into the head. Gash across the forehead measures 41.7 mm in length. This item has been extensively restored, and is held in the Ohio History Connection Archaeology Collection. It was recovered during the excavation of Seip Mound No. 1 in 1927. Seip Mound, sometimes referred to as the Seip-Pricer Mound, is located in Paxton Township, Ross County, Ohio. It was constructed between 100 BC and AD 400 by people of the Hopewell Culture and situated at the center of Seip Earthworks, an extensive earthwork complex occupying more than 150 acres along Paint Creek in southwest Ross County. There was also a large three-part burial mound associated with the earthworks later referred to as the Seip Conjoined Mound to avoid confusion. When first surveyed, Seip Mound measured 240’ x 130’ x 30’ and counted as one of the four or five largest Hopewell burial mounds ever built. Between 1925 and 1928 Henry Shetrone of the Ohio History Connection conducted excavations at Seip Mound, recovering over 100 burials and numerous funerary and other objects made of exotic materials. Shetrone also recovered series of “Great Pipes” that were uncharacteristic of Hopewell themes and designs and likely of southern origin. This strongly suggests at least cultural ties to contemporary groups below the Ohio River. During the 1970s investigations within the earthworks uncovered possible workshop and domestic locations indicating that overall the site was much more complex than first imagined. Originally a property of the Ohio History Connection, both Seip Mound and the associated earthworks are presently overseen by the National Park Service as part of the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. It is also one of seven Ohio Hopewell Ceremonial Earthwork sites presently under consideration for nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site by the United States Department of the Interior. View on Ohio Memory.
Image ID: AL00279
Subjects: Hopewell culture; American Indians--Archaeology; Archaeology--United States--History; Seip Mound (Ross County, Ohio); Artifacts
Places: Ross County (Ohio)