and Earthen Enclosures
Newark Ohio is the site of the
largest ancient geometric earthworks in the world. The most common geometric shapes used
to build these complexes were usually circular, square, or linear in shape, but Newark has
an octagon as well. It is thought that these geometric-shaped mounds that are found in
sites like the Newark were created for ceremonial & calendar-like
Please take a
moment and go through the images in the gallery provided here. This site is so beautiful,
and also sadly, not totally preserved, as you will see...
I was lucky enough to
have Patricia Mason, who is a good friend and extraordinary researcher and specialist on
the Newark site actually take me on a tour through this site which covers several miles.
Pat explains the
Newark site in the following quote:
Newark Earthworks is the largest group of geometric earthen enclosures in the world, once
covering over four square miles in what are now the cities of Newark and Heath in Licking
County, Ohio. A road, enclosed by earthen walls, ran a straight track from the Octagon
Mound in Newark to a similar circle-octagon earthwork in Chillicothe, nearly sixty miles
distant. The ancient builders of these monuments were experts at metrology, geometry and
astronomy. It is thought that they used a standard unit of measurement. The two
octagon-circle enclosures were aligned at right angles to each other in the landscape. The
Newark Octagon aligns to the lunar cycle, the Chillicothe Octagon aligned to the sun. The
circles of both earthworks were the same size and each so large that they could enclose
the base of the Great Pyramid of Giza. Their octagons differed slightly in order to
accommodate the lunar and solar alignments. (Unfortunately the octagon mound at
Chillicothe has not been preserved.)"- Pat Mason 2006
The areas of the
Newark site that I visited in September 2006 are highlighted below:
The Great Circle
is simply the most incredible structure I have ever seen, with it's huge embankments and
ditch that encircles around 4 acres on totally flat land with the "Eagles Mound"
at it's center. Click here to read more about the
Great Circle and watch a video of my experience there.
Circle and the Octagon are a couple of miles away from the Great Circle and have
actually become the ownership of a private golf club. Since they do not normally allow
public access while the golf course if open - I was only able to view the embankments as
the golfers played golf and drove their carts on and around them. I couldn't help but
think that this was all strange to watch the golfers pretending that it was just another
round of golf as they whacked their balls around the "Mound Builder Golf
Course." They seemed to be watching us on our "public observatory path" on
the outskirts of the greens as if we were strange in some way to look at the same terrain
with such awe.
I on the other hand
felt as if I was visiting a zoo in the "Twilight Zone" whose main attraction was
an exhibit of some strange beings in funny attire with an odd talent of being able to
disconnect themselves from reality for the sake of chasing a little white ball. Click here to read more about this area of the
Newark site and watch a video of my experience there.
Click here to read an excerpt from the
the "Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley" by E. G. Squier A.M. and E. H.
Davis, MD, accepted for publication by the Smithsonian Institution, June 1847 concerning
the Newark Earthworks.
Types of Man-Made Mounds
Man-made mounds are mounds that were made from the ground up and fall into four basic shapes or categories. Conical mounds, Effigy mounds, Temple Mounds and Geometric (usually linear) mounds.
Conical Mounds - look like pyramids except that they are rounded. They, just as the great pyramids, were built in honor of some special shaman or king, and are in fact burial sites for them as well.
Effigy Mounds - are shaped like animals and or spirits, and were believed to have ceremonial, navigational and calendar-like purposes. It is known that many of these align with the stars and could have been used to predict solstices, and even eclipses.
|Temple Mounds - were mounds that either were man-made or "truncated" natural hills. Structures (many times temples) were placed upon the flattened top and were considered to be "living spaces" for shamans or their leaders and their families.
||Geometric-Shaped Mounds - were usually circular, square, or linear in shape, and were thought to have alot of the same uses as the effigy mounds, but sometimes (like the Newark site above) were believed to be created together to build ceremonial & observatory inside large complexes.
To learn more about the people who built the mounds, use the following links: