Thursday, June 25, 2009
The day’s programming will include artifact identification, children’s activities, an artifact collection workshop, and a talk on local archaeology. There will also be demonstrations of flint knapping, traditional pottery and basket weaving, and live flute music.
The artifact identification will be available from 1:30-5:00. Archaeologists Bill Pickard from the Ohio Historical Society and Lynn Simmonelli from the Boonshoft Museum of Discovery will be available to identify prehistoric and historic artifacts.
Children’s activities will take place from 2-4 and will include games, puzzles and a scavenger hunt.
At 2:30 pm, archaeologist Erica Keener, West Alexandria resident, will be holding a workshop for artifact collectors titled “Stories in the Stones: Rediscovering Your Collection.” This workshop, which last about an hour, is designed to help both the serious and casual collector organize their collection and better understand what this can tell archaeologists.
At 4:00 pm, Dr. Craig Keener, owner of Professional Archaeological Services Team and resident of West Alexandria, will give a talk on the archaeology of the area, titled “Woodland Period Prehistoric Sites Along Twin Creek.”
To register for the workshop, please call (937-787-4256), or email the Preble County Historical Society, (firstname.lastname@example.org). Pre-registration for the artifact workshop beginning at 2:30 is $5, or $7 the day of the workshop. There are no additional charges for the other archaeology related activities. Admission to the Historical Center is FREE to all society members and to all children. The modest donation of only $2 is requested for all other guests.
The society’s lunch stand will be open serving grilled sandwiches, salads, homemade pie, ice cream, and drinks. The Center’s buildings will be open for touring, hiking trails will be open with the opportunity to view the newly restored wetland area.
Come join us for an afternoon of learning more about our early settlers of the area at the Preble County Historical Center on Sunday, July 19 from 1 – 5 pm.
For additional information contact the Preble County Historical Society.
Preble County Historical Society
7693 Swartsel Road
Eaton, Ohio 45320
phone & fax: 937-787-4256
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
-- Ohio native Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
The Space Shuttle Challenger explosion.
These were all in the news in 1986. The cost of a U.S. postal stamp was .22 cents, half of what it is today. It was also the last time the state of Ohio invested less than $8 million in the Ohio Historical Society. Nevertheless, Governor Strickland's new FY 2010-11 budget framework, unveiled late Friday, would reduce the state budget for the Society from $13.5 million in 2008 to as little as $7.5 million annually each of the next two years, a reduction of 45 percent.
This would be a disinvestment of truly historic proportions in Ohio's history. We simply cannot allow one of Ohio's greatest strengths - its history - take a giant leap in the wrong direction. Click here to see how you can help. The Governor and state lawmakers have very difficult decisions to make between now and June 30. The economy and state budget are the worst in a generation and the Ohio Historical Society fully expects that some level of state budget cuts are unavoidable. The state's general revenue figures have dipped to 2002 levels, yet the state is prepared to shrink funding for its history to1986 levels? Is this acceptable to you, Ohio?
We've been told that education is being protected in this budget. But the Governor's proposal would slash the budget of the Ohio Historical Society - charged with helping to educate Ohio's school children about history, train social studies teachers, maintaining dozens of the state's authentic historical sites and many other educational efforts - to unprecedented lows.
It is important to realize that there is still time to change this outcome. We've asked for your help these past several weeks and we thank the roughly 1,000 of you who responded. But we are down to the last week before the next two-year state budget is enacted. We ask that you call your state legislator and tell them to restore funding for historic sites, local history and education.
Click here to make your voice heard. Then follow up with an e-mail reiterating your budget message. Encourage your friends, neighbors, relatives and family to do the same. Go online at http://capwiz.com/ohiohistory/utr/1/GPWUKSQCVK/ISLLKSRCNF/3532223291 or click here to send a message to your legislator today.
Ohio's history, and its future, will thank you.
Executive Director and CEO
Ohio Historical Society
Thursday, June 18, 2009
I have been involved with many projects over the course of my career in archaeology and I've found loads of spear points, arrowheads, and other traces of ancient human activity. But this was special.
The ancient American Indian that made this point and lost it here around 5,000 years ago occupied, for a time, the land on which I now live. Holding in my hand the work of a fellow human being that also called this little valley home gave me a sense of shared intimacy that I had never experienced quite in the same way before. This powerful sense of connection hit me, figuratively and literally, where I live. This man and myself, though separated by a vast gulf of time, were linked by this place and by this bit of stone that he had fashioned and lost and I had found.
It was a reminder that the past isn't just something we encounter at special places, like Cairo, Mexico City, or the Newark Earthworks. The past is all around us and echoes of ancient lives reverberate in the soil beneath our feet.
The spear point I found is of a type that archaeologists have named Lamoka points. This kind of spear point was made by people during the Late Archaic period between about 5,500 and 4,500 years ago. Although initially defined in New York, Lamoka points are found from eastern Iowa to the Atlantic coast and from central Michigan to northern Kentucky.
The point isn't broken and I didn’t find any other artifacts while I was filling in holes, so it is likely the tip of a spear thrown by an ancient hunter at a white-tailed deer. Either he missed and lost the spear in the underbrush, or he hit the deer but failed to kill it and the deer ran off with the spear lodged in its side. For whatever reason, the man never retrieved his flint point.
That man's frustrating loss, however, is archaeology's gain. His lost spear point now forms part of the record of our knowledge of Ohio's past. It's not a dramatic or revolutionary discovery, but it's a piece of the archaeological puzzle, a tessera of the mosaic of prehistory, an episode in the life of an ordinary man who lived an extraordinarily long time ago and spent at least part of his life in what would become my front yard.
For more information about the Late Archaic period, see the following webpages:
Late Archaic period
Archaic spear points and knives
Friday, June 12, 2009
ScienceDaily (June 9, 2009) — More than 100 feet deep in Lake Huron, on a wide stoney ridge that 9,000 years ago was a land bridge, University of Michigan researchers have found the first archeological evidence of human activity preserved beneath the Great Lakes. The researchers located what they believe to be caribou-hunting structures and camps used by the early hunters of the period.
"This is the first time we've identified structures like these on the lake bottom," said John O'Shea, curator of Great Lakes Archaeology in the Museum of Anthropology and professor in the Department of Anthropology. "Scientifically, it's important because the entire ancient landscape has been preserved and has not been modified by farming, or modern development. That has implications for ecology, archaeology and environmental modeling."
A paper about the findings is published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Co-authors are O'Shea and Guy Meadows, director of the Marine Hydrodynamics Laboratories and a professor in the departments of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, and Atmospheric, Oceanic and Space Sciences.
O'Shea and Meadows found features that they believe to be hunting pits, camps, caribou drive lanes and stone piles used to attract the caribou to the drive lanes. Drive lanes are long rows of rocks used to channel caribou into ambushes. The 1,148-foot structure they believe is a drive lane closely resembles one on Victoria Island in the Canadian subarctic.
The hunting formations are on the 10-mile-wide Alpena-Amberley ridge that stretches more than 100 miles from Point Clark, Ontario to Presque Isle, Michigan. The ridge was a bridge between 10,000 and 7,500 years ago when water levels were much lower. Its surface is relatively unspoiled, unlike coastal areas where scientists believe other archeological sites exist. These coastal sites would now be deeply covered in sediment, so they're often considered lost forever.
Scientists have hypothesized for some time that the ridge might hold signs of ancient occupations. But they didn't know what signs to look for. O'Shea and Meadows zeroed in on caribou-hunting structures after considering the region's climate at the time, which would have been similar to the subarctic. Subarctic hunters are known to utilize caribou drive lanes.
The U-M researchers then narrowed down where to look for these structures by modeling the lake ridge as it would have been when it was dry. They worked with a Robert Reynolds a professor of computer scientist at Wayne State University to reconstruct the ancient environment and then simulate caribou migrations across the corridor. Based on this, they picked three spots to examine.
O'Shea and Meadows used U-M's new, cutting-edge survey vessel Blue Traveler, sonar equipment and underwater remote-operated vehicles with video cameras to survey these areas.
"The combination of these state-of-the art tools have made these underwater archeological investigations possible," Meadows said. "Without any one of these advanced tools, this discovery would not have happened."
Archaeologist will begin examining these areas this summer.
The Paleo-Indian and early Archaic periods are poorly known in the Great Lakes region because most of their sites are thought to have been lost beneath the lakes. Yet they are also times of major shifts in culture and the environment.
The Paleo-Indians were nomadic and pursued big game, O'Shea said. With the Archaic period, communities were more settled, with larger populations, a broad spectrum economy, and new long distance trade and ceremonial connections.
"Without the archeological sites from this intermediate time period, you can't tell how they got from point A to point B, or Paleo-Indian to Archaic," O'Shea said. "This is why the discovery of sites preserved beneath the lakes is so significant."
Perhaps more exciting than the hunting structures themselves is the hope they bring that intact settlements are preserved on the lake bottom. These settlements could contain organic artifacts that deteriorate in drier, acidic soils on land.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Please mark your calendars for Thursday, June 11 from noon – 1 p.m. to Rally for History! at the Ohio Historical Center, located at I-71 and 17th Avenue in Columbus.
The Ohio Senate voted yesterday to approve the next two-year state budget, which includes significant budget cuts that would reduce the state’s investment in the Ohio Historical Society to the lowest level since 1994. Now the budget goes to a conference committee made up of a small number of House and Senate members as well as Strickland Administration officials.
There is still time to make an impact and help restore funding for historic sites and the Society’s Outreach programs that affect students, teachers, local history organizations and Ohio communities. It’s time to Rally For History! Please join us on Thursday, June 11. FREE parking and admission to the Ohio Historical Center for participating in the rally. More details coming very soon…
Please forward this save-the-date!
Wednesday, June 03, 2009
Summer Saturday Hikes: 2009 Tour Schedule
On select Saturdays throughout the summer, park rangers will lead tours of three other sites the park protects besides Mound City Group. All tours begin at 9am and last two to three hours. Directions, places to meet, and tour descriptions are listed below. Come see the other earthworks of Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.
Seip Earthworks -- June 6, July 4 and August 1
Length: 2 miles Difficulty Level: Easy, Flat
Seip Earthworks is a classic example of the Hopewell Culture's fascination with geometry and skillful construction of their earthworks. Within the remnants of these ancient earthen walls also stands majestic Pricer mound, the largest restored Hopewell burial mound in existence.
Meet at Seip Mound main parking lot on U.S. Rt. 50 by Paint Valley High School, 2.5 mi. east of Bainbridge, 5 miles west of Bourneville.
Spruce Hill-- June 13, July 11 and August 8
Length: 2¼ miles Difficulty Level: Moderate, Uphill
Mysterious Spruce Hill is the world's largest Hopewell hilltop enclosure and one of only three such rare hilltops surrounded by a mound of stone. Though little remains of the stone walls, hikers will get a sense of scale for the prehistoric project when standing in the middle of the mesa. Spruce Hill is not normally open to the public without prearrangements, so this is an uncommon opportunity to explore this flat-topped finger of stone that thrusts into the scenic Paint Valley.
Meet at Seip Mound main parking lot on U.S. Rt. 50 by Paint Valley High School, 2.5 mi. east of Bainbridge, 5 miles west of Bourneville.
Hopewell Mound Group -- June 20, July 18 and August 15
Length: 2 ¾ mile Difficulty Level: Easy, Mostly Flat
At 111 acres, the main enclosure is the largest single Hopewell earthen-walled area ever found and contained the largest Hopewell burial mound ever built. It was at this former farm owned Captain Mordecai Hopewell, that this prehistoric culture was first described by archaeologists. It is also form this site that the Hopewell Culture borrows its name.
Meet at Hopewell Mound Group parking lot, 3 miles northwest of Chillicothe on Sulphur Lick Rd., ¼ mile from Maple Grove Rd. near the west end of Anderson Station Rd. Driving maps are available at the main National Park Visitor Center at Mound City Group (16062 State Rt. 104), which opens at 8:30 am. Hopewell Mound Group is a 15 minute drive from the main visitor center.
The Robert L. Harness Lecture Series
Ohio Archeology 2009 Summer Lecture SeriesHopewell Culture National Historical Park is pleased to host the summer archeological lecture series. The following is a list of speakers and titles of topics to be presented. The weekly series will begin June 11th and end on July 23rd. The programs will be held at the Mound City Group Visitor Center located at 16062 St. Rt. 104 just north of Chillicothe. Each lecture will start at 7:30 P.M.
June 11, 2009
"Birds in the Hopewell Archeological Record"
Dr. Jarrod Burks, Ohio Valley Archeology, Inc.
The Hopewell were expert artists and worked in numerous media. From bone to copper and shell to pipe stone, birds were a very popular subject of Hopewell art. In this presentation I explore examples of the many kinds of bird imagery used by the Hopewell and talk about how birds fit into Hopewell society, according to some archaeologists. Is the bird imagery good enough for us to identify particular species some 2000 years later? What about actual bird remains, have archaeologists found evidence of birds (bones, beaks, talons, feathers, etc.) in Hopewell burials or in their trash pits? Bring your birding field guides and come find out—binoculars are optional for this birding expedition into Ohio's past.
June 18, 2009
"Ancient Diggings": A Review of Nineteenth –Century Observations in the Prehistoric Copper Mining Pits of the Western Lake Superior Basin
Dr. John R. HalseyMichigan State Archeologist, Michigan Historical Center
Beginning in the late 1840s, Euro-American copper miners in the western Lake Superior basin became aware that someone had been there before them. With this realization came curiosity about who had done the mining, how long ago and how much copper had been removed. Eventually, evidence of prehistoric copper mining would be found over a swath 150 miles long, varying in width from four to seven miles in the Michigan counties of Keweenaw, Houghton and Ontonagon and also over much of Isle Royale in Lake Superior. As the miners cleared out the "ancient diggings" preparatory to establishing their own operations, a significant number of them recorded their observations and ideas. This presentation summarizes the contributions made by these pioneers and in particular those of Ohioan Charles Whittlesey, a towering figure in the history of Midwestern and Great Lakes archaeology.
June 25, 2009
"Ohio Hopewell Earthworks as a Historical Type of Ritual Landscape in the Eastern Woodlands."
Dr. James Brown, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL
The Hopewellian geometric earthworks have rightly commanded attention as unique in many ways. Features possessed in common with earlier and latter mounds and earthworks have not been given the attention they deserve. These lie with ritual landscape in general, and because they take in much larger territory than the earthworks proper, the features connecting these earthworks over the millennia have gone unacknowledged. Our interest is in the various ways in which the same ritual principles have been expressed over the course of thousands of years.
July 2, 2009
"New Insights into Fort Ancient Social Structure, Settlement Patterning, and Subsistence."
Dr. Rob Cook, Ohio State University, Newark, OH
Fort Ancient peoples were the last prehistoric inhabitants of the Middle Ohio River Valley, circa A.D. 1000-1650. The best known of their villages is the Sun Watch site, located in Dayton, Ohio along the Great Miami River. Recent analyses at the site and nearby settlements are revealing much about the Fort Ancient way of life. In particular, it is becoming increasingly clear that interactions with neighboring Mississippians were more important than previously recognized. This presentation highlights recent findings regarding this interaction and the structure of a landscape utilized by increasingly complex shifting horticulturalists whose practices and interactions were structured by environmental perturbations and population movements across the mid-continent.
July 9, 2009
"Recent Investigations at Mound City Group Earthworks."
Dr. Kathleen Brady, Curator, Hopewell Culture NHP
During the summers of 2007 and 2008 archaeological investigations were conducted at a little-known site just north of the Mound City Group earthworks. In the 1980s, the site (33Ro338) was recorded as a Middle Woodland site based on a surface survey and limited testing. Plans to reforest the area renewed interest in the site and lead to a geophysical survey of the area by park staff and volunteers. Ground-truthing of anomalies yielded numerous cultural features and artifacts. Subsequent excavations have focused on two areas—a prehistoric structure pattern and a group of aligned pit features. The site is believed to represent a specialized activity area associated with the use of the Mound City Group earthworks. Data from the current field season will also be presented.
July 16, 2009
"LiDAR Analysis of Prehistoric Earthworks."
Dr. Bill Romain
The Ohio Hopewell are best-known for their monumental, geometrical-The Ohio Hopewell are best-known for their monumental, geometrical-shaped earthworks. Many of these structures are larger than several football fields. Recent findings made by using a new technology called LiDAR (infrared lasers that scan the ground from the air) have been able to show how the Hopewell built these earthworks in geomantic harmony with earth, sky, and water while using a specific unit of measurement. Join Dr. Romain as he discusses the use of cutting edge technology in archeology today and learn how the Hopewell laid-out the earthworks.
July 23, 2009
"The Earliest Americans: Current Perspectives on Paleoamerican Origins, Arrivals, and Ecology."
Dr. Jerry N. McDonald, Virginia Museum of Natural HistoryMartinsville, Virginia, and McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company, Granville, OH
The contemporary recognition of Pre-Clovis, or Paleoamerican, human presence in North America began to emerge in the 1970s and gradually gained support during the following three decades. Paleoamerican presence has come to be an accepted – albeit poorly defined – part of North American prehistory. Important aspects of the emerging conception of Paleoamerican history on the continent include determination of the chronology of human arrivals; the source areas and routes and means of their dispersal; and the material culture, resource bases, and ecological strategies that typified these people.
This presentation will review current understanding of the time of arrival, source areas, material culture, and economic activities of North America's Paleoamericans. The inventory of economic activities will emphasize insights obtained from the more complex and informative Paleoamerican sites, and will conclude with thoughts about the research frontiers associated with documenting and defining North America's Paleoamerican history.
Summer Solstice Celebration
The summer solstice marks the longest day of the year and the beginning of the summer season. The solstice plays and important part in many cultures and has been celebrated since ancient times. According to archeo-astronomers, several earthworks created by the Hopewell Culture align with the rising and setting of the summer solstice sun, including Hopewell Culture National Historical Park's Mound City Group site!
To help celebrate this amazing aspect of the Hopewell Culture, visitors of all ages are invited to join park rangers and witness as the solstice sun sets across Mound City's northwest corner. The event will take place on Sunday, June 21, 2009 at 7pm. Evening activities will include a program highlighting the astronomical alignments of Hopewell earthworks, a ranger led tour of Mound City Group, and a beautiful sunset. Be sure to come out and take advantage of this great after hour's event!
Hopewell Discovery Day
Saturday, October 10, 2009 10:00 a.m.-3 p.m.
Join in the fun at the park's annual Hopewell Discovery Day. Activities include mound tours, flintknapping demonstrations, artifact identification, atlatl demonstrations, hands-on crafts, and plant and animal displays. All events are free.
Monday, June 01, 2009
What are the consequences?
Eliminate teacher training and educational programs that leverage federal funding
Eliminate National History Day in Ohio, a national program which originated in Ohio
Eliminate the Local History Office that serves 800 local history organizations
Eliminate the Civil War Sesquicentennial (2011-2015) initiative
Eliminate the Ohio Historical Markers program
Severely restrict OHS services throughout the state
Reduce our ability to generate nonstate revenues (i.e., federal grants, private revenue)
Reduce access to historic sites and museums
Reduce our ability to recruit local organizations to manage sites
Reduce assistance and resources to sites management organizations
Here’s a link to the OHS web site: http://capwiz.com/ohiohistory/home that will provide you with all the information you need to communicate with your state senator as well as the governor and your state representative.
PLEASE CONTACT YOUR STATE SENATOR TODAY!
Please e-mail and phone your state senator immediately. Their offices count the number of e-mail and phone communications they receive on an issue. If you have time, consider visiting your state senator’s local district office as this would have the biggest impact. If we act together, we can make sure that funding for these important activities is restored. Please forward this e-mail on to friends, colleagues or anyone else that would be willing to help us to protect community-based history programs in Ohio.
The Ohio Historical Society will be working hard to communicate directly with the members of the Senate Finance Committee and others to change this action, but they also need to hear loud and clear from their constituents. If you’d like more information on this, please feel free to contact Todd Kleismit, our government relations director, at (614) 297-2355 or email@example.com
Thank you for your efforts on behalf of the Ohio Historical Society. With your help, we can let our legislators know that history does matter!