Inventory of Individual Components that Comprise EarthWorks


Virtual, high-resolution recreations

of Adena, Hopewell and Fort Ancient sites as an interactive museum exhibit and a navigable DVD.  Participants fly into the Ohio River Valley and follow one of the Ohio River’s tributaries, like the Little Miami River to Stubbs Earthworks or to Fort Ancient; Brush Creek to Serpent Mound; or the Scioto River to Mound City.

• Displayed in the DVD (which is 80 percent complete) and the museum installation are:

  • the life-ways of these ancient cultures
  • background on why they built these ceremonial centers
  • how the earthworks were used
  • maps that locate the user in the greater Ohio Valley region, stretching from Pittsburgh to Louisville
  • links to other sources
  • a chronological timeline (with comparative cues for other world cultures) that starts with the geological periods before man to the earthworks’ 19th century destruction and current efforts to preserve the remaining sites

• A definitive 500-square-foot traveling exhibit set for completion in 2005.  Planned destinations include Columbus, Cleveland, Chicago and Washington DC.  The exhibit design consists of a computer touchscreen that controls a participant’s journey through the content, projected on the opposite wall.  (The exhibit would be larger in scope but similar to the installation in Chillicothe, Ohio, to open March 6.) 

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A school curriculum tied to the DVD

.  If funding is secured, plans are to make EarthWorks available to schools, filling a distinct gap in the K-12 educational materials on prehistoric North America.  History textbooks seldom mention these cultures.  None note the existence of the geometric earthworks.

EarthWorks was tested in Cincinnati Public middle- and elementary schools.

• A companion Web site to include continually updated background on the topic as well as a Web-optimized version of the DVD content and visualizations.  Web features will include full-text articles, travel guides, sample curriculum materials and archival resources.

• Pending funding, a December 2005 public symposium, “Re-Imagining the Earthworks,” co-hosted by the University of Cincinnati and the Cincinnati Museum Center.  The event will include historians, archaeologists, scholars, Native American leaders and others.

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