Archaeologist Martha Otto, former curator at the Ohio Historical Society, talks about how to characterize the Adena culture (800 BC to AD 100).
Which plants were domesticated by the Hopewell, how they were grown, and how gardening may have affected the landscape, filmed at the Fort Ancient garden.
An overview of the ways the geometric earthworks may have been used, and how gatherings there were probably multi-purposed.
The role of fire in the builders' treatments of deposited items, burials, and the burning down of buildings before mounds and eathworks were raised.
Comparative religion scholar Dr. David Cave discusses the meaning of community ritual burning of meaningful objects across cultures.
The nature and variety of Hopewell hilltop enclosures, suggesting how and why they were built.
Aspects of water hold deep meaning in many cultures, suggesting possible intentions behind the water engineering of Adena and Hopewell sites.
Shadows and Time
The nature and probable meanings of solar observations in the Fort Ancient culture, with Andrew Sawyer, curator at SunWatch Village, Dayton.
Architectural historian and Project Director John Hancock explains how the earthwork builders understood “earth” itself as an architectural element.
An explanation of the variety and complexity of Hopewell textiles, with a demonstration by Dr. Kathryn Jakes of how plant fibers were obtained from stems.
Ethnomusicologist Robert Templeman emphasizes that the builders’ music (panpipes, rattles, rasps, drums, and voices) differed in sound and purpose from we know today.
Music and Authenticity
Ethnomusicologist Robert Templeman points out that most of the music in our program is “Westernized,” and inauthentic.
Archaeologist Dr. James Brown explains how the earthworks may have been scenes of ritual adoption and the spiritual reincarnation of revered ancestors.
The Cosmological Plan
Dr. James Brown suggests that the geometric earthworks were understood as the cosmos on earth, allowing potential enemies to meet within a common order.
Elaboration and Ritual
Dr. David Cave explores the reasons for the great size and elaboration in ritual grounds and preparations, across cultures.
A discussion of the practice, and examples, of Hopewell interment of precious objects and materials in the earth.
Ten Thousand Mounds
Hawk Pope describes the fertility and abundance of the Ohio Valley region and how communities thrived here.
Mark Welsh of Dakota heritage tells a story he remembers about the origin of fire being at Ohio's Flint Ridge.
Circle of Life
Shawnee Chief Frank Wilson talks about walking the medicine wheel of life with its four gateways.
Archaeologist Dr. DeeAnne Wymer explains why some Hopewell deposits suggest the traditional ceremonies of world renewal, still celebrated by many Native American tribes.
Light and Shadow
Archaeologist Dr. Gwynne Henderson of the University of Kentucky talks about the aesthetic power of light and shadow in earthwork design.