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The Builders of the Mounds


The Fort Ancient Culture


Click here to watch a video about a little blue amulet found beneath Spanish Hill that I think is relative to this culture.

Fort Ancient is a name for a native American culture that flourished from 1000-1600 among a people who predominantly inhabited land in the region of Ohio and Kentucky. The Fort Ancient culture was once thought to be an expansion of the Hopewell and or Mississippian cultures, but it is now accepted as an independently developed culture of its own.

"The name of the culture originates from the Fort Ancient, Ohio site. Fort Ancient itself is now thought to have been built by the Hopewell, then later occupied by the Fort Ancient culture. The fort is located on a hill above the Little Miami River, close to Lebanon, Ohio. Fort Ancient has earthen walls that are over 3 miles (5 km) long and up to 23 feet (7.5 m) high. The hilltop enclosure surrounds a plot of 100 acres (0.4 km?). Despite its name, most archaeologists do not believe that Fort Ancient was used primarily as a fortress by either the Hopewell or the Fort Ancient -- rather, it was a ceremonial location....

The Fort Ancient people are noted for their earthen structures, forts, triangular arrow points and pentagonal flint knives. The Fort Ancient people may have built the largest effigy mound in the United States, Serpent Mound. The Fort Ancient are also thought to be responsible for hundreds of burial mounds in the shape of birds and other animals found in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa. The Fort Ancient also created small burial mounds for the dead, but eventually this practice faded and only the effigy mounds continued to be built.

Some of the effigy mounds that I have visited are:

1.) Water Panther (Spirit) effigy Mound

2.) Thunderbird Effigy Mound

3.) Linear and Bear Effigy Mound,

4.) Man-Mound Effigy Mound

5.) Bird Man Mound

5.) The Alligator Mound,Ohio

6.) Serpent Mound, Ohio (many clips)

The Fort Ancient were primarily a farming and hunting people. Their diet was composed mainly of the three sisters -- maize, squash, and beans -- supplemented with hunting and fishing in nearby forests and rivers." (this info is from


The Fort Ancient Culture is now known to be responsible for the Serpent Mound in Ohio. This "effigy mound" again was used for ceremonial purposes and has many alignments with the stars at certain important times of the year such as the solstices.



This mound is 1/4 of a mile long and there are so many interesting things about it that I will be making a whole page dedicated to it....stay tuned!



Is There a Relationship With the Fort Ancient People and those that Built the Embankments on Spanish Hill?



~ Let me use up some more of my vacation time and get back to you! ~

(this is my nephew Luke and I at the Serpent Mound last May)


This is Luke on the platform above the mound. Look Closely and you can see the winding horned serpent embankment in the grass below:



While I have much more research to do, I believe that Spanish Hill has most in common with this type of earthwork in structure, location, and alignments. Also - many of our artifacts in this region resemble the descriptions of the artifacts of the fort Ancient Culture.


They are also the only culture that I know of that have some pottery with faces etched on their collars...


How Pottery Styles Evolved: Pottery was definitely traded between tribes and cultures, and can explain the different styles of pottery found in many sites. It is also understoof that as women were married into or taken to other tribes, they brought their pottery "styles" with them. I find this of interest and a possible link to Fort Ancient people who would have been around in the times of the Carantouans. More research will definitely need to be done to be able to say this is any more than a theory I have come up with.


Maps of Spanish Hill.

Below you will find some maps and drawing of the hill that I think show some of those commonalities with Fort Ancient, Ohio. Stay tuned for more information about this as I get it compiled.



1.) image (blueprint) of Spanish Hill dated from the 1930's.

 Note the same general alignments:

  • Example, to the west, the river (running north to south)



General John S. Clark's map of the hill (1878)




This section is under construction - stay tuned!



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Spanish Hill is currently private property -  no trespassing is advised.