Newark Earthworks Open House, Sunday, October 16, 2022
During the Newark Earthworks Open House, visitors are invited to explore and experience fully all three segments of these ancient, expansive earthworks built masterfully by American Indians. The site will be open daylight to dusk, with staff on site to answer questions from Noon–4 p.m. There is no registration or reservations needed for tours.
Octagon Earthworks is part of Newark Earthworks, 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.
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.
The Newark Earthworks served social, ceremonial and astronomical functions for their builders, people of the Hopewell Culture. The site is a National Historic Landmark and Ohio’s official prehistoric monument.
The site will be open daylight to dusk. Staff will be on hand at the Octagon and Great Circle from noon to 4 p.m. to answer questions.
Activities will be held at the Great Circle and Octagon. See below for times.
Information Tables • Noon–4 p.m.
Whether you’re waiting for or resting from your Octagon Earthworks guided tour, there is still a lot to learn about. Visit one of the information tables hosted by Heartland Earthworks Conservancy, Licking Valley Heritage Society (Flint Ridge) and the Ohio History Connection.
The Works will be at the Great Circle’s museum from 12-4 p.m. sharing information on archaeoastronomy
Guided Octagon Earthworks Tour • 12:30, 2:00 & 3:00 p.m.
Join Ohio History Connection archaeologists and World Heritage staff Brad Lepper or Jennifer Aultman as they walk with guests through the circle and octagon earthen walls that make up the impressive Octagon Earthworks. Stops along the way will point out specific features including Observatory Mound and the many openings in the earthworks that are key to the 18.6-year lunar alignment encoded into the landscape. The 2:00 p.m. tour will be led by John Low, Director of the Newark Earthworks Center and Tim Jordan, Site Manager of Flint Ridge Ancient Quarries and Nature Preserve. Comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen, hat and water are suggested.
Heartland Earthworks Conservancy Talk • 1:30 p.m.