Adena Hopewell Hopeton Works in Chillicothe, Ross County Ohio

Hopeton Adena Hopewell Earthwork in Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio





       Form miles above the city of Chillicothe, on the east bank of the Scioto river, is situated the singular group of works figured in the Plate. They are found upon the third "bottom" or terrace, just at the base of an elevated plain, upon which, five hundred paces distant, and to the right of the main works, the minor group B is situated. They consist of a rectangle, with an attached circle, the latter extending into the former, instead of being connected with it in the usual manner. The rectangle measures nine hundred and fifty by nine hundred feet, and the circle is ten hundred and fifty feet in diameter. The centre of the circle is somewhat to the right of a line drawn through the centre of the rectangle, parallel to its longest sides. The exterior gateways are twelve in number, and have an average width of about twenty-five feet. The chord of that part of the circle interior to the rectangle is five hundred and thirty feet. On the east side are two circles, measuring two hundred, and two hundred and fifty feet in diameter respectively; one covering a gateway, the other extending into, and opening within, the work. About two hundred paces north of the great circle is another smaller one, two hundred and fifty feet in diameter.
      The walls of the rectangular work are composed of a clayey loam, twelve feet high by fifty feet base, and are destitute of a ditch on either side. They resemble the heavy grading of a railway, and are broad enough, on the top, to admit the passage of a coach. The wall of the great circle was never as high as that of the rectangle; yet, although it has been much reduced of late years by the plough, it is still about five feet in average height. It is also destitute of a ditch. It is built of clay, which differs strikingly in respect of color from the surrounding soil. The walls of the smaller circles are about three feet in height, with interior ditches of corresponding depth.
       Parallel walls extend from the north-western corner of the rectangle, towards the river to the south-west. They are twenty-four hundred feet, or nearly half a mile long, and are placed one hundred and fifty feet apart. They terminate at the edge of the terrace, at the foot of which, it is evident, the river once had its course; but between which and the present bed of the stream, a broad and fertile "bottom" now intervenes. They are carried in a straight line, and although very slight, (nowhere exceeding two and a half feet in height,) are uninterrupted throughout. They do not connect directly with the main work; at least, they are not traceable near it.
     is a dug hole, of considerable size, near the south-east angle of the rectangular portion of the work, exterior to the walls. In the bank of the table land, which approaches to within three or four hundred feet of the walls, are several excavations, d d d, from which large quantities of earth have been taken, though much less, apparently, than enters into the composition of the embankments.
There are no mounds of magnitude in connection with these works. There are two slight elevations of an oval form, and also one or two very small mounds, within the square, as shown in the plan. There is a large group, however, on the opposite bank of the river, in the direction pursued by the parallels above mentioned.