Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks

"The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks share certain characteristics with other monumental sites built substantially from earth, such as Poverty Point, Cahokia Mounds, Effigy Mounds National Monument, Amazonian geoglyphs, Stonehenge, Avebury and Associated sites, but they are unique in their combination of vast scale, geometrical precision, incorporation of astronomical alignments, and broad geographic distribution. To have accomplished this with a predominantly hunting and gathering economy only supplemented by a suite of locally domesticated plants and with a fundamentally egalitarian society is unprecedented in world history.

The repetition of monumental earthwork forms across a large area, built to a similar scale, using a common unit of measure, and incorporating a similar series of astronomical alignments into that architecture, demonstrates a level of integration between otherwise disparate cultural groups that is unexpected and unprecedented for societies without more complex social organizations. This cultural integration was reinforced by an interregional network of raw material acquisition and craft production emphasizing a shared iconography. These earthworks, as a set, bear witness to a remarkable non-urban, non-hierarchical civilization that persisted for three to four centuries and exerted an influence that extended across much of eastern North America.

These Ancient Ohio monuments are the largest earthworks in the world that are not fortifications or defensive structures. Together these earthwork sites present the climax of the Woodland Period cultures of North America. Their extraordinary size, beauty, and precision make them outstanding examples of architectural form, landscape design, and human creative genius, worthy of inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage List."
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