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High Bank Works

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100 –500, Hopewell Culture. 16062 OH 104.
  • (Courtesy of Ohio History Connection)

High Bank Works features a series of earthworks that include a large enclosure with two connected sections: a circle and a square that is also referred to as an octagon because it has eight wall sections. There are also several smaller circular and semicircular works, and a linear earthworks comprising two parallel walls all situated within a 197-acre terrace site overlooking the Scioto River. The primary earthwork is a circle with a diameter of 1,050 feet enclosing 20 acres with a wide gateway along the southern edge opening into the 18-acre octagon enclosure measuring roughly 1,000 feet by 1,000 feet. Inside the octagon are eight mounds placed at the junctions of the eight wall sections with six of the junctions open as gateways along with the large opening connecting to the circle. To the east of the circle and octagon works is a circle earthwork with a diameter of 250 feet and one opening. The linear earthworks are located south of the circle and octagon. These two almost parallel walls link the primary earthwork to a grouping of conjoined circular earthworks located at the far southern portion of the High Bank site. Two circular earthworks, both 300 feet in diameter and with one opening, terminate each end of the easternmost linear wall. The southern grouping includes another circular earthwork with a diameter of 300 feet and one opening. Still visible is the primary earthwork of the circle, with walls 4-5 feet high, and the octagon, with walls 8-10 feet high.


“Hopewell Culture, National Historical Park, Ohio.” National Park Service. Accessed November 20, 2018.

Lepper, Bradley T. “Archaeology of the Hopewell Culture.” In Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology, edited by Claire Smith. New York: Springer New York, 2013.

Lepper, Bradley T. Ohio Archaeology: an illustrated chronicle of Ohio's ancient American Indian cultures. Wilmington, OH: Orange Frazer Press, 2005.

Lynott, Mark J. Hopewell Ceremonial Landscapes of Ohio, More than Mounds and Geometric Earthworks. American Landscapes Series. Havertown, PA: Oxbow Books, 2015.

Squier, Ephraim G., and Davis, Edwin H. Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley.1848. Reprint, Washington D.C.: Smithsonian Institution Press, 1998.

Weiss, Francine, “Hopeton Earthworks,” Ross County, Ohio. National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1975. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.

Weiss, Francine, “Mound City Group National Monument,” Ross County, Ohio. National Historic Landmark Nomination Form, 1975. National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC.

Writing Credits

Barbara Powers
Barbara Powers



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Barbara Powers, "High Bank Works", [Chillicothe, Ohio], SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012—,

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