Located in central Ohio, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park encompasses six different sites of earthworks and burial mounds that represent the so-called Hopewell people who inhabited the area in the 3rd century BC through approximately 500 AD. Typical Hopewell constructions consist of large enclosures that can have walls up to 12 feet high and contain packed earth in geometric shapes, while mounds can rise to more than 30 feet in height and have been found to contain cremated human remains and skillfully fashioned objects—including effigy pipes, mirrors, tools, and jewelry—of ceramic, shell, flint, mica, and copper: a testament to the sophistication of far-flung trade routes and artistic craftsmanship among indigenous groups in this period.
Archaeological Fun Fact: Early documentation of the Hopewell sites and excavation was undertaken by a local Ohio doctor named Edwin Hamilton Davis and his partner, Ephraim George Squier. The two published the seminal Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley in 1848 but had a falling out at around that time that ended their working partnership.
Park website: www.nps.gov/hocu/
On a hilltop in Arizona’s Verde Valley between Phoenix and Flagstaff, you will find Tuzigoot National Monument, the ruins include a three story pueblo and 110 rooms. The pueblo was built and inhabited by the Sinagua people between 1000 and 1400 AD. On the site, you can also see petroglyphs as well as the remains of pithouses.
Archaeological Fun Fact: The first known excavations at Tuzigoot were conducted from 1933 by archaeologists from the University of Arizona with funding from the federal Civil Works Administration and Works Project Administration.
Park website: www.nps.gov/tuzi/
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