Ohio Mounds: Adena Hilltop Serpentine Enclosure in Hamilton County

Adena Hilltop Serpentine Enclosure in Hamilton County, Ohio


       This work is strictly analogous to the other hill-works already described, and is so well exhibited in the engraving as to need little explanation. It occupies the summit of a steep, insulated hill, and consists of a wall carried along its brow, composed of earth, thrown as usual in such cases from the interior. The wall conforms strictly to the outline of the hill, except at the west, where there is a considerable promontory, which is left unenclosed. Upon this promontory is a mound, corresponding doubtless in its purposes with the one on the principal avenue of approach to the remarkable fortified hill, higher up on the Miami, in Hamilton county The late President Harrison regarded this work as admirably designed for defence, and as evincing extraordinary military skill. He says:
      "The work at the mouth of the Great Miami was a citadel, more elevated than the Acropolis of Athens, although easier of access, as it is not like the latter a solid rock, but upon three sides is as nearly perpendicular as could be, to be composed of earth. A large space of the low ground was, however, enclosed by walls uniting it with the Ohio. The foundation of that (being of stone as well as those of the citadel) which formed the western defence, is still visible where it crosses the Miami river, which, at the period of the erection of the work, must have discharged itself into the Ohio at a point much lower down than it now does. I have never been able to discover the eastern wall of the enclosure; but if its direction from the citadel to the Ohio was such as it should have been, to embrace the largest space with the least labor, there could not have been less than three hundred acres enclosed.

Serpentine walls of the gateway in Butler County, Ohio that lead to a sacred via that moves down the hill towards a large burial mound at the bottom. Burial mounds were once on the hilltop, but have all been destroyed by archaeologists.