Ohio Mounds: Tour and Exploration
June 26 @ 9:00 am - 6:00 pm$50.00
Join Reverend Lucy on her next exciting trip in spiritual adventure travel, as she visits several sacred Ohio Mounds and explores their history, construction, purpose, and spiritual mysteries, which include sacred geometry and astrology.
The various cultures collectively termed “Mound Builders” were prehistoric, indigenous inhabitants of North America who, during a 5,000-year period, constructed various styles of earthen mounds for several assumed purposes. The leading Mound Builders were the Adena, Hopewell, and Mississippians. Mound Builders built extensive earthworks from the Great Lakes down through the Mississippi River Valley and into the Gulf of Mexico region. These mounds, many of which survive today, consisted of several hundred tons of dirt, clay, and stone, and were built on a large scale in spite of the fact that the builders did not use the wheel or animals for labor.
For this tour, we will gather at Spiritual Horizons, 230 North Sandusky Street, in Delaware, Ohio, at 9:00 am, and then travel to the mounds in and around Newark, Ohio. We will drive together to Newark, tour the mounds, have lunch, and return to Delaware by 6:00 pm. Please wear comfortable shoes for walking.
Exact locations will be decided by those in attendance on the day of the tour. Possibilities include:
Ferris Owen Mound – Originally several feet taller, the Ferris Owen mound now stands around ten-feet high due to the agricultural activity of the past two centuries. The mound has not been excavated or dated, but was most likely built during the Adena cultural period of Ohio’s prehistory, making it more than 2,000 years old. The Adena are the oldest cultural group associated with mound construction in the Ohio Valley. The height of their culture spanned from 1000 BCE to 100 CE, followed by the Hopewell from 200 BCE to 500 CE, and then the Fort Ancient culture from 900 CE to 1750 CE.
Alligator Mound – Alligator Mound is an effigy mound, is a raised pile of earth built in the shape of a stylized animal, symbol, religious figure, human, or other figure. In spite of its name, the mound likely was not intended to represent an alligator. It is in the shape of a four-footed creature with a round head and a long tail that curls at the end. It resembles an opossum or a panther much more than an alligator. It may represent the Underwater Panther, a supernatural creature thought by many American Indian tribes to reside in lakes and other bodies of water. Since Alligator Mound is located so close to the Newark Earthworks, archaeologists used to think it was built by the Hopewell culture. Recent studies, however, indicate it was built by the later Fort Ancient culture. The Alligator Mound is 200 feet long and five to six feet high at its highest point. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Infirmary Mound – Infirmary Mound is located within Infirmary Mound Park, a 316-acre recreation area that is part of the Licking County Park District. Recent human activity has severely damaged Infirmary Mound; decades of farming have left the mound low and severely eroded. Today it stands only 2 to 3 feet in height and is about 70 feet in diameter. The mound is difficult to discern from the surrounding terrain, appearing as a small rise near the southern edge of the park due to the cultivation of the area as farmland and the accompanying erosion. The era of the mound’s construction is unknown.
Great Circle Earthworks – Formerly known as Moundbuilders State Memorial, the Great Circle Earthworks is nearly 1,200 feet in diameter and was likely used as a vast ceremonial center by its builders. The 8 feet high walls surround a 5 feet deep moat, except at the entrance where the dimensions are even greater and more impressive.
Octagon Earthworks – Enclosing 50 acres, the Octagon Earthworks has eight walls, each measuring about 550 feet long and from 5 to 6 feet in height. The Octagon Earthworks are joined by parallel walls to a circular embankment enclosing 20 acres. At present the Octagon Earthworks is also the site of the Mound Builders Country Club golf course.
While we can never know with any certainty the Hopewells’ purpose in designing the earthworks, one theory is that the Hopewell built these earthworks on such a massive scale for astronomical accuracy—long, straight embankments provide longer sight lines that increase the accuracy of astronomical alignments. In 1982, professors Ray Hively and Robert Horn of Earlham College in Indiana discovered that the Hopewell builders aligned these earthworks to the complex cycle of risings and settings of the moon. They recovered a remarkable wealth of indigenous knowledge relating to geometry and astronomy encoded in the design of these earthworks. The Octagon Earthworks, in particular, are aligned to the four moonrises and four moonsets that mark the limits of a complex 18.6-year-long cycle.
Wright Earthworks – the Wright Earthworks consist of a fragment of a geometrically near-perfect square enclosure and part of one wall that originally formed a set of parallel embankments, which led from the square to a large oval enclosure. The sides of the square originally ranged in length from about 940 to 950 feet and they enclosed about 20 acres. The remaining segment of one wall of the square is less than two hundred feet long. Farming and construction associated with building the Ohio Canal and the streets and houses of the city of Newark destroyed much of the square enclosure and its associated mounds. The Wright Earthworks are named in honor of Mrs. Frances Rees Wright who donated the site to the Ohio History Connection in 1934.
Huffman Mound – This prehistoric structure requires a bit of a hike to observe; Huffman Mound, also known as Tippet or Tippett Mound, is located within Taft Reserve, a 425-acre reserve that is part of the Licking Park District. Huffman Mound likely dates to the Adena Cultural period. This is known not only from its size and shape but also from evidence recovered at the site by an infamous amateur archaeologist in the middle of the nineteenth century. That man, David Wyrick, surveyed and sketched one of the earliest drawings of the layout of the Newark Earthworks, but he also perpetrated an archaeological hoax, creating and planting four carved stones inscribed with Hebrew markings at Native American sites in Licking County. The excavations damaged the mound, reducing its height slightly. Today the mound is around 20 feet in height and 200 feet in diameter. Another mound, called Rutledge Mound, also stands within the Taft Reserve.
Fairmount Mound – Fairmont Mound stands just north of the National Road at Fairmount Church on a road of the same name. The mound has not been attributed to a specific period or cultural group, yet, like other Native American mounds, it has become incorporated into the modern landscape as a sacred space. Fairmont Presbyterian Church was built near the mound, and the surrounding area became a burial site for American settlers in the mid-nineteenth century. This reuse of the sacred space has helped preserve this 15 foot high and 80 foot wide, prehistoric structure. The fortunate preservation of Fairmount Mound is the exception for the once numerous embankments and mounds of the surrounding area, which have been largely destroyed through human activity.
Optional Extra: Flint Ridge – Flint Ridge is a nearly 8-mile-long vein of high-quality flint. Hundreds of quarry pits are scattered across more than 2,000 acres of ridge top in these Appalachian foothills. Flint Ridge seems to have been well known in the ancient world, as small amounts of the flint have been found at Native American sites across the present-day eastern United States. Because of this flint’s unique rainbow-color and great beauty, it has been found in the tools, weapons and ceremonial objects of native cultures and in modern times in the production of jewelry. Hike trails through the 533-acre preserve and see ancient pits left by Native Americans who came from the surrounding area to quarry flint.
Reverend Lucy Frances, MA, LPCC-S, Holy Fire® III and Karuna Reiki® Master is offering this trip.
Please register through Eventbrite or you can
call Reverend Lucy directly, at 740-272-2560.
* Registration ends 48 hours prior to the trip starting *
This tour price includes transportation and information about the history, construction, purpose, and spiritual mysteries,
including sacred geometry and astrology, about the Mounds.
Lunch is on your own.