Miamisburg Mound State Memorial
Miamisburg Mound Park contains one the two largest conical-shaped mounds in eastern North America. This park is open to the public with the mound featuring 116 concrete steps that allow visitors to ascend 65 feet to the top of the structure. The mound is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Backstory and Context
The mound sits on a one hundred foot high bluff and originally stood 70 feet or more at its peak. Past excavations have lowered the height down to around 65 feet. It maintains a base circumference of 877 feet. This mound is a burial mound dating from the Adena Culture. The Adena Culture is known to have stretched from Indiana to New York and Central Ohio south to Kentucky. Southern Ohio is considered the center of their culture because of the size and number of mounds and earthworks located there. Prior to widespread European settlement, there were upwards of ten thousand features spread across Ohio alone. The Adena were the first farmers growing sunflowers, squash and pumpkins. They were also making clay pottery and showed signs of having an extensive trade route allowing them to gather materials from far off places.
In 1869 a partial excavation was performed on the mound by digging a vertical shaft from the top of the mound to the base. This shaft was then cross-sectioned with a horizontal shaft going out from the center shaft. The excavators found a single skeleton 8’ deep from the top and also an open room made from logs most likely being a charnel house or an area built specifically for remains often times cremated. Like many other mounds that have been excavated, this mound was found to have been built in many stages. Past experience investigating other mounds has let science see that bodies were not often added to the mounds one on top of another in a straight line. But rather they could be added on the sides and in many different configurations.
This mound has been well preserved due to the land being a park since 1920 and then donated to the Ohio Historical Society in 1929.
"Miamisburg Mound State Memorial." Miamisburg.org. Accessed May 3, 2017. http://www.miamisburg.org/miamisburg_mound_park.htm.