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On March 18, 2014 the Conservancy attended a public auction in Chillicothe, OH with the hope of acquiring the Junction Group earthworks site. After having learned that the land would be available for sale just 20 days prior to the auction, the Conservancy joined forces with several conservation organizations in the area in an attempt to preserve not just the site itself, but the surrounding woodlands as well. A 90 acre field encompassing the earthworks was successfully acquired.

In October of 2014 the Ohio State Historic Preservation Office (The Ohio History Connection) and the Ohio Archaeological Council bestowed awards for the preservation of Junction Earthworks to the large consortium of preservation groups that worked together to accomplish this daunting project. Our Midwest Regional Director Paul Gardner was there to accept the awards on behalf on the Archaeological Conservancy.  The Ohio State Historic Preservation Office bestowed the Award of Merit in Preservation which is given for preserving Ohio’s prehistory, history, architecture, or culture. The Awardee consortium is composed of Arc of Appalachia Preserve System, The Archeological Conservancy, Heartland Earthworks Conservancy, Rivers Unlimited and Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. The consortium was aided by the support of additional groups including the Friends of Serpent Mound, the Ohio Archaeological Council, the Newark Earthworks Center, the Archaeological Society of Ohio, and the South Central Ohio Preservation Society (SCOPS).

The earthwork complex is approximately 2,000 years old and has been the subject of intermittent archaeological research since 1848. Our involvement with the site started in 1980 when the preservation of Hopewell Culture ceremonial centers became a central focus of our activities east of the Mississippi. The site has been in the hands of private owners, and this public auction was the first opportunity for the site to be transferred to an organization with a plan for long term preservation.

Drone footage of Junction Earthworks show just how impressive this site is. With prairie grass was  mowed to control invasive weeds. As an intermediate step, the the walking path and the earthworks were left unmowed,  so it becomes easy to see where the plowed-down earthworks are as detected by ground penetrating radar.  The stunningly beautiful images below are followed by a video of earlier stage mowing.


View of Site and River with Morning Fog

View of Site and River with Morning Fog


Viewed from Above

Stunning View from Above


Another stunning view, giving a great sense of the massive scale

Another stunning view, giving a great sense of the massive scale with neighboring building in the distance


Bidding Farewell to the Junction Group for now

Bidding Farewell to the Junction Group for now

A video taken by the drone of a slightly earlier stage of the mowing, before the earthworks are ‘cut-out’, on July 19th can be seen here:

Ownership of the Junction Group earthworks was transferred to the ARC of Appalachia who maintains this preserve.