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Hopeton Earthworks

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

Hopeton Earthworks is an elaborate almost 3,000-acre complex that includes connected embankments, a circle (1,050 diameter) and a square (900-foot-long sides), each enclosing 20 acres. The embankment walls are estimated to have been 12 feet tall and 50 feet wide at their base. The circular earthworks has openings where it joins the square and one additional opening. The square has openings along each of its sides. On its eastern side at the southern end, the earthwork opens to include a smaller circular earthwork; at its northern end a smaller circular earthwork is located just outside the enclosure. Several other smaller circular earthworks are located to the northeast of the circle and square. To the west of the circle and square, pointing towards the Mound City Group across the Scioto River, are two, 2,100-foot, parallel earthen embankments. Near the circle and square the northern embankment bumps out to form a circular enclosure. Portions of the complex now stand about 5 feet above ground.


“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



  • 100

    Construction of High Bank Works, Hopeton Earthworks, Hopewell Mound Group, Mound City Group National Monument, Seip Earthworks, and Spruce Hill Earthworks

What's Nearby


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

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