April 23, 2012

Serpent Mound State Memorial

Ohio historical marker

The Great Serpent Mound as seen from the observation tower

The Great Serpent Mound was constructed by an unknown people in an unknown time for an unknown purpose. The only truth behind the mystery is the location of the effigy mound, near the edge of a five mile wide geologic disturbance in Adams County, Ohio.

Adena burial mound near the museum

The presence of this mound alludes to the fact that the park surrounding the Great Serpent Mound was an important site for numerous cultures of First Ohioans, including the Fort Ancient culture. A smaller, and much more rare, Fort Ancient mound is also located within the park. The Ohio historical marker at the site notes that the Fort Ancient culture is responsible for the construction of the Great Serpent Mound, however, that erroneous statement is based on the removal of Fort Ancient period charcoal fragments from the mound. Since several different cultures may have used the Great Serpent Mound as a ceremonial site, the presence of charcoal simply indicates that the Fort Ancient people were present at the site around 1000 A.D.