A Peebles man is facing a felony charge after being arrested in connection with vandalism at Serpent Mound that took place sometime over the Fourth of July weekend.
Daniel C. Dargavell, 19, is facing a fifth-degree felony charge of vandalism of a property controlled by a government entity after allegedly confessing to the crime.
Law enforcement officials said they were able to review video of the incident, received a tip on who may have been driving the vehicle that caused the damage, then contacted Dargavell, who allegedly confessed to a detective.
Park manager Tim Goodwin said the damage occurred sometime early Sunday morning.
“We did have an individual come on to the park and actually tear up a lot of the greenery around the park between the museum and the picnic pavilion. Matter of fact, he actually tried to climb on top of one of the 9-foot high Adena burial mounds which is really, you know, saddening and kind of angers an awful lot of people,” Goodwin reportedly told Kent State University’s WKSU Radio.
Tire tracks from a pickup truck damaged a portion of the landmark, but the damage is not permanent, the Adams County Sheriff’s Office said.
Serpent Mound is an internationally known National Historic Landmark built by the ancient cultures of Ohio. It is an effigy mound (in the shape of an animal) representing a snake with a curled tail. Nearby are three burial mounds – two created by the Adena Culture (800 BC to 100 AD), and one by the Fort Ancient Culture (1000-1650 AD). The Serpent Mound has no associated burials and was likely used for ceremonial purposes, according to the Ohio Historical Society.
In 2008, Serpent Mound and eight other Ohio earthworks were selected by the United States Department of the Interior for inclusion on the United States’ tentative list of sites to be submitted to United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for inscription on the prestigious World Heritage List. If it is eventually inscribed on the World Heritage List later this decade, Serpent Mound will join the ranks of the Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, Pompeii, Stonehenge, and the Taj Mahal – all of which are World Heritage sites.
Serpent Mound is managed locally by the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System.
It is the largest surviving example of a prehistoric effigy mound in the world. Stretching 1,348 feet over the ground, the ancient earthwork depicts the form of an undulating serpent with an oval shape at the head, according to the Arc of Appalachia.