Friday, October 7, 2016

Octagon Open House

The Newark Earthworks' Octagon
Video Courtesy of the Ancient Ohio Trail and CERHAS.

The Newark Earthworks Center and Ohio History Connection are sponsoring an Open House at the Octagon State Memorial on October 10, 2016. This is the last in of four days in 2016 that the public has been given full access to the site!


We encourage everyone to walk the entire earthworks to experience the beauty of this amazing site. Guided tours of the Octagon Earthworks will also be provided from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. Check out our website and the Ancient Ohio Trail for information about the significance and history of the Octagon Earthworks and the Great Circle Earthworks that make up the Newark Earthworks.


The enigmatic Great Circle and Octagon Earthworks were built 2,000 years ago by the ancestors of contemporary American Indians. They are notable for their precise geometry that provide astronomical alignments with the moon during its 18-year and 219-day cycle that culminates in the Major Lunar Standstill, observed by cultures throughout the world. Their scale is to the land within they reside, and is enormous: the Octagon was built with an area of 50 acres, the connecting walkway is the length of a football field, and the Circle has an area of 20 acres. The walls of the earthen enclosures are tall enough to block the view inside, and the walls are curved and smooth.

The Newark Earthworks one of three major earthworks sites included in a serial nomination to become one of the next American World Heritage sites - perhaps the 26th in the U.S.

A dedicated coalition consisting of Ohio State University, Ohio History Connection, National Park Service, University of Cincinnati, Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, private architecture firms, convention and visitors’ bureaus, mayors, commissioners, and site managers make up World Heritage Ohio, the group developing the nomination materials and raising funds.

The Newark Earthworks Center (NEC) is an interdisciplinary academic center of the Ohio State University that develops projects and research about the Indigenous cultures that produced Midwestern earthen monumental architecture in order to promote a better understanding of the cultural and scientific achievements of American Indians to humankind.

The NEC promotes interdisciplinary research, educational enrichment for undergraduate students, public lectures and events, teacher resources, outreach and engagement. The interdisciplinary research involves the humanities, social sciences, and sciences and is about the pre-contact Indigenous systems of knowledge and intellectual traditions that led to the development of complex architectural, astronomical, and geographic sites across the Americas.

The NEC improves the understanding of the Indigenous perspectives and knowledge of the cultural context of the earthworks landscape in the Ohio River Valley, from the times before European contact until the present.

The NEC continues to build meaningful and reciprocal relationships with American Indian tribal governments around cultural preservation issues throughout Ohio, the Midwest, and the world."

Without sustainable funding, the NEC may close at the end of June 2017. We are establishing an endowment campaign to provide sustainable funding into the future, and we are currently developing research proposals. Followers of the Newark Earthworks center can help by sending testimonials to earthworks@osu.edu or donations.

Comments and suggestions are welcomed. You can contact Marti Chaatsmith, Interim Director at (740) 364-9574 or Sheila Carpenter, Office Assistant at (740) 364-9574; or email us at earthworks@osu.edu.

We hope to see you there!



This earthwork is part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks;
nine Ohio ancient earthworks sites constructed by the Ohio Hopewell culture during
 the Woodland Period (1-1000 CE) which are in the process of nomination for
 UNESCO World Heritage!

For more information,
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