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Special edition of Oopa Loopa Cafe

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  • Rick Osmon
    This Sunday at 1 PM eastern I will host a special half hour edition of the Oopa Loopa Cafe with guest Mr.. Larry Henry. Larry is leading the charge to protect
    Message 1 of 1 , Jun 15, 2007
      This Sunday at 1 PM eastern I will host a special half hour edition of the Oopa Loopa Cafe with guest Mr.. Larry Henry. Larry is leading the charge to protect one of the last intact Hopewellian sites in southern Ohio and help is needed to do that.

      The Spruce Hill Works is one ofOhio ’s last remaining, intact “hilltop enclosures” which is considered by archaeologists to have been built by peoples of the Hopewell culture nearly 2,000 years ago.  This ancient, sacred, ceremonial enclosure site is similar to other, more well-known hilltop enclosures such as Fort Ancient, Fort Hill, and others, but Spruce Hill is especially unique, and perhaps the most important of this type of Hopewellian construction because its’ walls were built primarily with stone, rather than earth, and its enclosure space is greater than that of the immense Fort Ancient enclosure.


      E.G. Squire and E.H. Davis, in their landmark 1847 work Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, published the first complete survey of the earthwork:



      The Spruce Hill Works is located in the Paint Creek Valley between Bainbridge and Chillicothe , Ohio and was within visual distance from two other important Hopewell geometric earthwork sites – The Baum Earthworks and the Seip Mound Earthworks (from Squier and Davis ’ Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, 1847):




      Many of the Hopewellian earthwork constructions throughout Ohio have incorporated significant astronomical alignments, but it is unclear whether the Spruce Hill Works has any such connections because no systematic archaeological excavations have ever been conducted at the site. However, over the years there have been several intriguing and potentially important discoveries that have been found at the Spruce Hill Works site which include evidence for ancient industrial activity with at least 30 metal-working ‘furnaces’ which was first reported on in 1811 by James Foster, editor of the Scioto Gazette (an early Chillicothe, Ohio newspaper), Squier and Davis in 1847 reported seeing “strong traces of fire” and that many stone mounds along the wall exhibited marks of intense heat which vitrified the surfaces of the stones, and more recently, tangible evidence for metal casting was discovered by John Cahoon in 1993 in the form of a vitrified clay mold located at the “isthmus”, or narrow SW entranceway into the Spruce Hill Works which may have been used to cast a +20 lbs. copper ‘celt’ found in excavations of the nearby Seip Mound earthworks. Limited ‘test’ excavations were conducted by archaeologists from the National Park Service in 1995-96 which found Hopewellian-culture related artifacts, vast quantities of burned, fused, or glazed sandstones and vitrified soils, and also confirmed that the stone walls were artificially constructed and not natural as some skeptics had asserted.  This led the National Park Service to seek acquisition of the Spruce Hill Works site for preservation, to be included in the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park , centered at the Mound City Group in Chillicothe , Ohio . This year, the National Park Service notified Congress that the Spruce Hill Works site was the #2 priority in the United States for acquisition, and the National Park Service also included their intention for acquiring the Spruce Hill Works site in their United Nations World Heritage application submission.

      Please tune in this Sunday to hear Larry explain the effort to save this site.
      If at any time you no longer wish to receive these weekly reminders, simply reply to this email and I will reluctantly and gently remove you from the list.
      Your host
      Rick Osmon, aka Oz
      Call in during show (646) 652-2720
      IM to "oopaloopacafe" on Yahoo Messenger or Windows Live messenger, during show
      Mobile (not during show, please) (812) 259-1102
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