A celebration of local Native American tribes’ prehistoric heritage returns to Serpent Mound on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event features artifact displays, demonstrations of ancient tools like the atlatl, a tool predating archery used to throw lightweight spears, as well as a presentation from Dr. Jarrod Burks, an archaeologist who has been searching for sites like Serpent Mound throughout Southern Ohio. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own archaeological finds to be identified by Bill Pickard, the curator of archaeology for the Ohio History Connection, formerly the Ohio Historical Society.
Tim Goodwin, the manager of Serpent Mound, told The Times-Gazette that Arc of Appalachia holds the event to give the public a chance to learn about prehistoric Ohio, which Goodwin feels is not often discussed. Goodwin also said he hopes that Archaeology Day gives people a better appreciation of the cultures that came long before Europeans began making their way to North America.
“Especially,” Goodwin said, “when attendees go out and see what is perhaps the largest effigy mound in the world: Serpent Mound.”
Though it’s easy for those who live nearby to take Serpent Mound for granted, Goodwin told The Times-Gazette that in the last year, vistors from as far as Peru and China visited Serpent Mound on their way across the United States. Archaeology Day gives locals the chance to see Serpent Mound from a new perspective.
“It’s just a little, old-fashioned park. All the buildings were built during the Great Depression, and it kind of looks it,” Goodwin said. People bring lunch out here. It’s nice and quiet; you can’t hear the trucks down on Route 73 going by. It’s just a nice, old-fashioned park that happens to have some neat archaeology, but to a lot of the world, it’s more than that.”
Archaeology Day is free and open to the public, though there is an $8 parking fee, which helps support the park. Hot dogs and hamburgers will be provided, and chips and drinks will be available for purchase in the gift shop. Attendees are also welcome to bring their own picnic lunches.
Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.