Travel // The Serpent Mound + Chillicothe, Ohio

In November, Franz and I decided to make our first spiritual trip. A trip we took to the Serpent Mound. The coats have come on, but the travel isnt anywhere near stopping, even when we travel in our own home state. November was Native American History month, and with that I wanted to learn more. One of my degrees is in Cultural Studies, along with my degree in art history. I wanted to learn more about the cultures so that when I deal art, I know the importance of the art history through all aspects, so that art doesn’t get miss-appropriated and so that eventually we will have more minority artists represented in the museums across the US. What people collect through art definitely influences what the mass people can see at museums, as a lot of times personal art collections are donated or exhibited at local art museums. Still I want to learn more, the Serpent mound, located in Peoples, Ohio, is one of the worlds most famous effigys.

“Serpent Mound is an internationally known National Historic Landmark built by the ancient American Indian cultures of Ohio. It is an effigy mound (a 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 B.C.–A.D. 100), and one by the Fort Ancient culture (A.D. 1000–1650). 

Thousands of years ago, Native Ohioans populated the landscape with mounds and massive earthworks. In the late 19th century, Harvard University archaeologist Frederic Ward Putnam excavated Serpent Mound, but he found no artifacts in the Serpent that might allow archaeologists to assign it to a particular culture. Based largely on the nearby presence of Adena burial mounds, later archaeologists attributed the effigy to the Adena culture that flourished from 800 B.C. to A.D. 100. This theory on the site’s origin was accepted until a 1991 site excavation used radiocarbon dating to determine that the mound was approximately 900 years old. This would suggest that the builders of the Serpent belonged to the Fort Ancient culture (A.D. 1000–1500). In 2014, another team of archaeologists presented new radiocarbon dates for the Serpent suggesting that it was built by the Adena culture at around 300 B.C. More work is needed to clarify the age of Serpent Mound.

The significance of Serpent Mound and other ancient Ohio earthworks has garnered international attention. In 2008, Serpent Mound and eight other Ohio American Indian 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 the 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. World Heritage status has the potential to elevate local and international awareness about the site’s value, further encourage communities to protect and invest in its preservation and increase potentially beneficial tourism to the site. “

The day we went to the Serpent Mound, we bundled up, as it was about 30 degrees outside. Upon arrival, we stopped inside of the Serpent Mound museum, and then continued onto view the effigy itself. We climbed up the view tower, peered over and took in the presence of a structure, so full of history and magic, that for once I just looked out in silence. Walking around the Serpent Mound, on the same ground that sacred ancestors created such a structure, more than humbles ones ego. It really reminded me to make an impact on my time here on earth, that one day just my spirit and legacy will remain. We also checked out the Christmas town of Chilocothe, Ohio where you can find fudge, Christmas ornaments, candy, hot chocolate, Harry Potter inspired candies, the cutest clothing, even gifts for the pups and more. This little trip to peoples, Ohio and Chilocothe will delight the history buffs and activists, and those who want to honor the land in its glory, as well as those looking to bring in Holiday cheer this December. Happy exploring, and keep learning.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s