Prehistoric Earthwork Site Protected (OH)
COLUMBUS, Ohio, 10/16/01 – The National Park Service and the Trust for Public Land announced today that they have acquired a 122-acre property with prehistoric and archaeological sites including part of a Hopewell earthwork west of Chillicothe, Ohio. The site will be added to the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park.
“Recent work at nearby sites has indicated a need to protect these fragile remains sooner rather than later,” said Dean Alexander, superintendent of Hopewell Culture. “We are extremely grateful that the Trust for Public Land was able to step in quickly and help.”
“We are happy to help the National Park Service preserve this site, which is so important to telling the story of the Hopewell Culture,” said Chris Knopf, Director of the Ohio Office of The Trust for Public Land. The Trust is a nationwide organization which conserves land for people.
The property involved in today’s announcement is part of the Seip Earthworks, a portion of which is owned and protected by the Ohio Historical Society. This acquisition preserves the majority of the ancient earthworks outside of the OHS property. Hopewell Culture National Historic Park, composed of five ancient earthwork sites including Seip, is dedicated to preserving structures built more than 1,500 years ago. Last summer, scientists discovered a mysterious circle buried at a separate Hopewell location and they believe similar features may exist on the land acquired today.
“Protection of this site is extremely important because we are continuing to discover previously unknown aspects of this culture,” added Gary Ness, Executive Director of the Ohio Historical Society. “Without the ability to protect these sites, we risk losing our past.”
“I am pleased this prehistoric site will be preserved for future generations as a part of the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park,” notes U.S. Senator Mike DeWine, R-Ohio.
“This land acquisition is a tremendous addition to the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park. The recent archaeological finds at the park are irreplaceable links to Ohio’s past, and I applaud the efforts of the Trust for Public Land and the National Park Service in preserving it for future generations,” said Rep. David Hobson, R-Ohio, a member of the House Appropriations Committee.
“I am very pleased that this important site was added to Hopewell National Historic Park so that we may continue to study the Hopewell culture while preserving it for future generations to learn from and appreciate,” said Rep. Ralph Regula, R-Ohio. At the time the NPS Hopewell acquisition was funded, Regula chaired the House Appropriations subcommittee which oversees NPS.
Founded in 1972, the Trust for Public Land conserves land for people to improve the quality of life in our communities and to protect our natural and historic resources for future generations. Nationwide, the Trust for Public Land has helped conserve more than a million acres valued at over $2 billion. In Ohio, the Trust for Public Land gained widespread public attention two years ago by demolishing the Richfield Coliseum and transferring the property to the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The Trust for Public Land’s Ohio office receives funding from the Cleveland Foundation and the George Gund Foundation, along with other foundations and individuals. For more information, visit the website at www.tpl.org.