obama stonehenge On Friday, after attending a NATO summit in Wales, President Obama took the opportunity to visit Stonehenge, one of the worlds most iconic ancient monuments. The Telegraph quoted Heather Sebire, English Heritage’s Stonehenge curator, who gave the president a personally guided tour of Stonehenge: Mr Obama was fascinated by the story of the stones, what we know about them and the mysteries that have yet to be solved. He asked lots of questions about how old the monument is, how long it took to build it, and what was its purpose. He described the atmosphere around the stones as really special and his visit to Stonehenge as a highlight of my tour. According to USA Today, President Obama told the assembled reporters, How cool is this? Knocked it off the bucket list.” Well, Mr. President, Stonehenge is totally awesome, but I hope your bucket list also includes coming to Ohio to see the Newark Earthworks. This ancient American Indian ceremonial center is every bit as spectacular as Stonehenge. Id be happy to give you a personally guided tour! And I guarantee you an experience as memorable as your visit to Stonehenge. The only presidents I know of that ever visited the Newark Earthworks are Rutherford B. Hayes and James Garfield and they almost died there in a freak accident. (Come to think of it, maybe thats why no president has come back since.) Thomas Jefferson, our nations third president, never got the chance to see the Newark Earthworks. He only became aware of this amazing site, as well as many of the other ancient monuments of the Ohio valley, in 1820 when he read Caleb Atwaters  description of the antiquities discovered in the state of Ohio, which had just been published by the American Antiquarian Society. Jefferson was impressed and wrote a letter thanking the Society for documenting these ancient American wonders: it is truly pleasing to hope that, by their attentions, the monuments of the character and condition of the people who preceded us in the occupation of this great country will be rescued from oblivion before they will have entirely disappeared. Major portions of the Newark Earthworks, Serpent Mound and many other sites were, in fact, rescued from oblivion by the work of the Ohio History Connection, the National Park Service and many local preservation-minded groups. I think its past time for a U.S. President to come to Ohio to be amazed by the ancient wonders right here in our own backyard! Brad Lepper

Posted September 6, 2014
Topics: Archaeology

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