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Newark Earthworks, Heath

4.4
#73 of 115 in Wildlife in Ohio
The Newark Earthworks in Newark and Heath, Ohio, consist of three sections of preserved earthworks: the Great Circle Earthworks, the Octagon Earthworks, and the Wright Earthworks. This complex, built by the Hopewell culture between 100 AD and 500 AD, contains the largest earthen enclosures in the world, being about 3,000 acres in extent. Today, the preserved site covers, and is operated as a state park by the Ohio History Connection. A designated National Historic Landmark, in 2006, the Newark Earthworks was also designated as the "official prehistoric monument of the State of Ohio."
This is part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, one of 14 sites nominated in January 2008 by the U.S. Department of the Interior for potential submission by the US to the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Built by the pre-European contact Hopewell culture between 100 AD and 500 AD, the earthworks were used as places of ceremony, social gathering, trade, worship, and honoring the dead. However, the primary purpose of the Octagon earthwork itself was believed to have been scientific. The Newark Earthwork site is the largest surviving Hopewell earthwork complex in North America. The culture built many earthen mounds. Over decades, they built the single largest earthwork enclosure complex in the Ohio River Valley. The earthworks cover several square miles. Scholars have demonstrated that the Octagon Earthworks comprise a lunar observatory for tracking the moon's orbit during its 18.6-year cycle.
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Newark Earthworks Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
17 reviews
Google
4.6
TripAdvisor
  • As a mathematics teacher, I found it fascinating that the earthen mound circle has the same area as the earthen mound square. The ancients were every bit as smart, or even more so, than humans today.  more »
  • Loved my visit the trees were beautiful. The earth works are so cool to see. Its also a great place to take your dog for a walk.  more »
Google
  • Come here, you won't regret it. Lots of info pads and you can walk inside the Great Circle to get a glimpse into where natives used to come... the museum is super informative and the people there are super helpful...
  • Lovely site to visit that felt like a spiritually powerful place, but decidedly a White Colonialism perspective in the visitor center and posted signage. There was a single panel exhibit (less than 10% of the displayed info) regarding protests from American Indian activists about a dig onsite in the 1990s. White-centric comments from the guy welcoming visitors made me sad, but perhaps the person offering tours (which we missed by a quarter-hour, unfortunately) offered a more balanced perspective. I would love to learn more from Indigenous people what their traditions say about this and other earthworks in Ohio...to the extent they're willing to speak about it with non-Native, respectful visitors, of course.

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