Support World Heritage Ohio & Ancient Ohio Today

Nearly two thousand years ago, American Indians created an awe-inspiring culture rooted in the land we now call Ohio. They built vast earthworks as gathering places that aligned to the sun and moon. People came from near and far, traveling across land and sea to join together. Here, earth, water, sky and people met in sacred connection.

Today, we seek to honor these Ancient Ones and the places they built by inscribing eight Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks to the UNESCO World Heritage List. Inscription on the World Heritage List would underscore the cultural significance of these sites and call international attention to these treasures long known to Ohioans. For over a decade, Ohio History Connection and the National Park Service’s Hopewell Culture National Historical Park have worked with stakeholders from across Ohio and the U.S. to seek World Heritage designation. This effort would create Ohio's first World Heritage site.

The Need for Support

Currently, Ohio History Connection is working with the National Park Service, the Ohio State University Newark Earthworks Center and the University of Cincinnati’s Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites to prepare a nomination document for three of the Ancient Ohio Earthworks collectively known as the Hopewell Ceremonial Sites.

A working group of archaeologists, anthropologists, architects, cultural landscape historians, museum and park administrators, and Native Americans are collaborating to complete a draft for review by the National Park Service before a final submission can be made to UNESCO. Funding is needed to complete the draft nomination which includes: consulting with other World Heritage sites and experts; performing additional research; compiling all required data; formulating required management plans; developing economic impact studies, and designing the final document. The experience of other successful applicants for inscription indicates that preparation of the nomination requires at least one full-time staff person and, in addition to the contributions of the working group, the services of various consultants, researchers, photographers, graphic designers, and editors; an estimated investment of between $800,000 and $1,200,000 may be necessary to document the significance of our sites and how they will be managed.

Get Involved

If you would like to support this wonderful opportunity to put Ohio’s ancient earthworks on the worldwide map of historically and culturally significant sites, contact Ann Ruege at 614.297.2342 or send us a message on our Contact Us page by selecting "Donations."

To learn more about the Ancient Ohio Earthworks, go to:

 

To learn more about UNESCO and the World Heritage List, go to: whc.unesco.org.

Join us in stewarding this rich American Indian heritage by becoming a Friend of World Heritage Ohio. Friends can help in many ways, including:

  • Visiting and learning about these sites in person.
  • Staying updated on the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks World Heritage nomination and other American Indian news through our e-newsletter.
  • Sharing the story of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks in your community.
  • Contributing funds to the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks nomination.

Please visit worldheritageohio.org and facebook.com/WorldHeritageOhio for more information.

Ancient Ohio Today

Ancient Ohio Today is our premier monthly newsletter sharing our state’s oldest stories. Thank you for helping to keep Ohio’s deep past alive in the present and future!

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