A Study of Woodland Ditches

Author(s): Timothy Everhart

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

The Woodland societies of the Central Scioto River Valley in Ohio, most notably the Hopewell, have garnered much archaeological distinction from two elements of their ceremonialism: the construction of large, sometimes geometric ditch and embankment enclosures and the production of ornate art, often of exotic materials, utilized in funerary practices. It has been long held, dating back to the many 19th century maps from the region, that Woodland monumentality involved the erection of monuments of various geometric and non-geometric designs. Yet, the variability in composition and architectural complexity has only recently been detailed through modern excavation. The majority of this research has focused upon the extant remnants of embankment walls, while associated ditches have received relatively less study. Given how readily detectable ditches are with geophysical survey and their relatively better preservation, they form useful datasets to explain Woodland monument life histories and to more fully understand these monumental landscapes as a whole. This paper reports the excavation of 5 ditches in comparison to previously excavated ditches, demonstrating the archaeological richness of these features and lending insight into the organization and diversity of Woodland practices of monumentality.

Cite this Record

A Study of Woodland Ditches. Timothy Everhart. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449701)

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Geographic Keywords
North America: Midwest

Spatial Coverage

min long: -103.975; min lat: 36.598 ; max long: -80.42; max lat: 48.922 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 25375