A few times a year, visitors are invited to fully experience all three segments of Newark’s Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks. Inscribed as an UNESCO World Heritage site in 2023, these massive artifacts of creative genius served social, ceremonial and astronomical functions for their builders. The 2024 Open House dates are:
Sunday, April 14th
Monday, April 15th
Monday, July 22nd
Sunday, October 20th
Monday, October 21st
Details on daily program offerings are currently being developed. But until then, here are some interesting earthwork tidbits!
The Newark Earthworks are remnants of a 2,000 year-old complex that is the largest set of geometric earthworks ever known.
Enclosing 50 acres, the Octagon Earthworks has eight walls, each measuring about 550 feet long and from five to six feet in height.
Great Circle Earthworks is nearly 1,200 feet in diameter and was likely used as a vast ceremonial center by its builders. The 8 feet (2.4 m) high walls surround a 5 feet (1.5 m) deep moat, except at the entrance where the dimensions are even greater and more impressive. Visit the museum, learn about the earthworks, and see artifacts!
Wright Earthworks consists of a fragment of a geometrically near-perfect square enclosure and part of one wall that originally formed a set of parallel embankments, which led from the square to a large oval enclosure. Originally, the sides of the Newark square ranged from 940 to 950 feet in length, and they enclose a total area of about 20 acres.