Our monthly programs will be back in the Fall. Have a great summer, and be sure to follow along with our 1927 Building initiatives.
Spectacular Ohio Earthen Sculpture to be Pondered at November Program
Hudson Heritage Association Hosts Ohio Archaeologist to Explore the Great Serpent Mound
Local residents take global trips to see the wonders of the world, but Ohio has sites of great note as well. One such wonder is located to the south in Adams County and will be the topic of Hudson Heritage Association’s (HHA) free monthly program on Thursday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Barlow Community Center.
Brad Lepper, Senior Archaeologist for the Ohio History Connection’s World Heritage Program, will introduce the audience to the Great Serpent Mound, an internationally known icon of ancient Ohio. Serpent Mound is a 1,427-foot long, 3-foot-high ancient ceremonial mound. It is the largest serpent effigy in the world. During the 19th century, many mounds were plowed under by agricultural efforts, but the early efforts of Harvard University archaeologist Frederic Ward Putnam spared Serpent Mound this fate.
Serpent Mound is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a National Historic Landmark. It is built on the site of a classic astrobleme, an ancient meteorite impact structure, with an impact origin estimated at as many as 286 million years ago. While most all agree on its serpent shape, there remains much debate about the construction date of the actual structure. Some argue it was built by the ancient American Indian Adena culture at around 300 B.C.E. and others favor the Fort Ancient culture around 1100 C.E.
Dr. Lepper graduated from Hudson High School and earned his B.A. degree from the University of New Mexico and his M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the Ohio State University. His research includes the excavation of The Burning Tree mastodon in December 1989 (named one of the top 50 science discoveries of 1990 by Discover magazine in its January 1991 issue) and the discovery of the Great Hopewell Road, first reported in 1995. Lepper, an expert on North America’s Ice Age peoples and Ohio’s magnificent earthworks, also is fascinated by the history of archaeology, making him especially appropriate for considering a structure as old as Serpent Mound.
“Serpent Mound is probably the most famous Ancient American Indian mound in the world, but that fame is a bit of a two-edged sword,” Lepper says. “Lots of people have heard of it, but a lot of what they’ve heard is wrong.” In shape and opportunities for debate and exploration, Serpent Mound is a winding wonder. Charcoal samples, radiocarbon ages, art and symbolism, archaeological mystery, all are embedded in the story of the mound, now presented for public consideration. HHA invites all to attend.