Newark Earthworks Open House, April 16-17, 2023
Posted March 2, 2023

Explore this remnant of a 2,000 year-old complex that is the largest set of geometric earthworks ever known.

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.

Note: The schedule is still be finalized; please revisit this webpage to learn more.

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 the Ohio History Connection and others

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.

Participating sites

  • Great Circle – 455 Hebron Rd., Heath, OH
  • Octagon Earthworks–125 N. 33rd St., Newark, OH
  • Wright Earthworks – North of Grant St. on James, parallel to State Route 79 in Newark

Newark Earthworks Remnants Walking Tour• 9:00 a.m.

There’s a guided walking tour of portions of the Newark Earthworks that are not the Octagon, Great Circle or Wright Earthworks, starting and ending at the Great Circle Museum. Covering about three miles, the route will be over mostly level terrain on public sidewalks. Walking shoes and a water bottle are all you need, plus sunscreen or a hat — little shade on the tour, so dress accordingly. No registration is necessary.

Subscribe to Our Blogs