Over in Ross County, several mysterious soil mounds dot the landscape. Formerly known as Mound City Group National Monument, the site is now called the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
. The mounds are the remnants of the Hopewell people, who occupied the area over 2000 years ago. This hunter-gatherer society had no written language, but they built the largest earthworks in North America.
The mounds built here are some of the oldest known to exist in the region, but they are the most recently used. Unfortunately, the US Army destroyed many of the mounds to build a military training base. The Ohio Historical Society
rebuilt the mounds in the 1920s. While it is unfortunate that some of this priceless history was destroyed, it allowed for further excavation. Some of the artifacts found on the site are now in the museum at the visitor's center.
It's not entirely clear what these mounds were used for, although it is suspected that they were ceremonial sites that drew people from all over North America. Artifacts from as far as Canada and Arizona have been found among the mounds, suggesting that this was a very important place. If anything, it is a beautiful landscape. Next time you're in the Chillicothe area, check it out!