Serpent Mound stands as one of the state’s most well-known examples of the prolific earthen artwork of Ohio’s ancient cultures. Visitors to Serpent Mound will be given a unique opportunity to learn about these ancient peoples and their works at Archaeology Day on Saturday, Sept. 12.
Featured at the day-long event will be talks by three prominent Ohio archaeologists, who will share their latest research about ancient Ohio cultures, and brand new revelations about Serpent Mound. Archaeologist Dr. Jarrod Burks will present the Hidden Mysteries of Serpent Mound Revealed, sharing his new magnetometer findings from the ancient effigy mound. Professor Kathryn Jakes, an expert in ancient textiles, will be sharing her latest discoveries and a demonstration of prehistoric fabric making techniques. Archaeologist Dr. Bret Ruby will share new research about the little-known wooden architecture of the ancient mound building peoples.
Throughout the day, visitors will be able to view the extensive collections of eight artifact experts, tools, and artwork representing over 10,000 years of Ohio’s history.
“I don’t think people realize that the Shawnee and Tecumseh were very recent history as far as Native Americans in Ohio go. Before the Shawnee, we had thousands of years of flourishing cultures who were amazingly sophisticated,” said Serpent Mound Park Manager Tim Goodwin said.
Interpreting that history will be a handful of experts sharing demonstrations of ancient tools and techniques such as throwing an atlatl, a weapon used before the invention of the bow and arrow; making fire using a pump drill; chipping stone tools from flint; and creating pottery using clay. A living history re-enactor in colonial garb and with an original Kentucky Long Rifle will talk about life on the frontier, and the Indian wars of the 18th century. Tours of the Serpent Mound will also be going on throughout the day.
Many of Ohio’s citizens have discovered or inherited stone tools or arrowheads commonly found in streams and farm fields throughout the state. One of Archaeology Day’s highlights will be the opportunity for visitors to bring their own items in for identification. An expert will be on hand to interpret ancient artifacts, what a tool was used for, and how old it is.
Goodwin said people are encouraged to bring their families. “It’s a great way to get kids interested in history. They can talk to real archaeologists, and we will have games and activities for children,” Goodwin said.
Archaeology Day is free, with an $8 per car parking fee, and will be held rain or shine under shelter. Grilled lunch will be for sale at the park. For more information call Serpent Mound at 1-800-752-2757.
Submitted by Crystal Narayana, program director, Arc of Appalachia.