Unusual Native American ceremonial site unearthed in Ohio
Native Americans in Northern Ohio constructed a detailed ceremonial site 2,300 years ago that may have been used to celebrate life and observe the cosmos, according to archaeologists who spent five years excavating there.
|This spear tip is just one of the many artefacts discovered at the Heckelman site |
[Credit: Brian Redmond/Cleveland Museum of Natural History]
The area’s Early Woodland occupiers built the ceremonial site in 300 B.C. in an oval enclosure dug into the ground within a larger enclosure, the archaeologists said. Excavators unearthed circular post molds, or organic stains in the soil, that suggest freestanding wooden posts or ritual poles arranged in clusters were once located there, and that they were not part of any structure or building.
|This pottery fragment was likely used in the prearation and serving of ceremonial meals at a Native American site in Ohio |
established around 300 BC [Credit: Brian Redmond/Cleveland Museum of Natural History]
“The Heckelman site is unlike anything found in the lower Great Lakes of the United States,” Redmond said. “Most contemporary sites in Ohio focused on burial ceremonies and the building of mounds. To find evidence of life celebrations is an unexpected and exciting discovery. It gives us surprising insights about these prehistoric Ohioans that lived nearly 2,300 years ago.”
Redmond’s paper on the archaeologists’ findings was published earlier this year in the Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology.
Source: Fox News [May 14, 2016]