The Hopewell Problem: A Discussion of Digital Methods for Legacy Collections at Hopewell Mound Group

Author(s): Margaret Robinson

Year: 2016


The Hopewell culture was a unique explosion of cultural practices characterized by monumental earthwork construction, elaborate funerary practices and extensive exchange networks of exotic materials. The presence of these monumental burial mounds and earthwork structures on the Midwest landscape captured the interest of the earliest American archaeologists resulting in extensive archaeological excavations in the late 19th and early 20th century. The vast legacy collections that resulted from these excavations are plagued by confusion and layers of historical complexity. The Hopewell collection is one example of how this lack of transparency has driven researchers away from tackling the inconsistencies of the archaeological data which has limited the usability of the collection. Replacing large monographs, digital databases and visual representations are the future of archaeological investigation and offer a unique perspective into interpreting the Hopewell legacy collections. This project aims to recreate the Hopewell Mound Group archaeological site by reorienting the legacy collections into a digital platform increasing visibility of the archaeological record to stimulate further research interest through visual exploration. The purpose of this poster is to outline the challenges of reconstituting and interpreting legacy collections within a digital medium and to provide some methodology for mitigating those challenges.

Cite this Record

The Hopewell Problem: A Discussion of Digital Methods for Legacy Collections at Hopewell Mound Group. Margaret Robinson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404983)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -104.634; min lat: 36.739 ; max long: -80.64; max lat: 49.153 ;