CHILLICOTHE, Ohio – Eight of Ohio’s prehistoric monumental earthworks built 2,000 years ago by Native Americans are poised to become Ohio’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site next week.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is meeting Sept. 10-25 in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. A decision to inscribe the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as a World Heritage Site is expected Sept. 19 or 20.
Five of the earthworks sites are managed by the National Park Service, and three are managed by the Ohio History Connection; collectively they are named the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks.
The earthworks are in Licking, Ross and Warren counties and include:
“The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are special and sacred places. Working with our partners at Ohio History Connection to tell the story of the American Indian culture today known as Hopewell is something we are excited to share with a new international audience," said Chris Alford, Superintendent of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.
“We are confident in the strength of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks nomination, making these earthworks Ohio’s first World Heritage Site and the 25th World Heritage Site in the U.S.,” said Megan Wood, Executive Director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection.
The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks were nominated to the World Heritage List in January 2022 by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
World Heritage inscription brings recognition to places of exceptional interest and value. There are only about 1,000 World Heritage sites around the globe.
For more information about the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, go to hopewellearthworks.org.
For media inquiries, please contact Neil Thompson at 614-917-9348 or [email protected].
About the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks:
The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks include eight sites in Ohio that are managed by the National Park Service and Ohio History Connection. They include the Mound City Group, Hopewell Mound Group, Seip Earthworks, High Bank Works and Hopeton Earthworks at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe; the Great Circle Earthworks and Octagon Earthworks in Newark; and the Fort Ancient Earthworks in Oregonia. These earthworks were built by Native Americans between 1,600 and 2,000 years ago. They are complex masterpieces of landscape architecture and are exceptional among ancient monuments worldwide in their enormous scale, geometric precision and astronomical alignments.