I love old maps. They not only document the arrangement of things across a landscape; they also capture the moment in time when the map was made. The Ohio Historical Society has in its collections a wonderful 1901 map of Serpent Mound that has never been published in its entirety, but which deserves more attention than it has so far received. The surveyor/artist, Clinton Cowen of Cincinnati, added fanciful scales to the serpent and failed to record all the details of the serpent’s head, but his sensitive rendering of the landscape and his documentation of key features across the entire park provides a valuable record of what was there in 1901. Here is Serpent Mound — preserved like a creature in amber. The view through the translucent stone isn’t perfect, but it’s remarkable nonetheless for what it reveals about the history of the site.cowen 1901 serpent mound park

Brad Lepper


Posted January 31, 2014
Topics: Archaeology

Subscribe to Our Blogs