Second Friday Tours with an Archeologist

a group of adults walk on a grass path through a tall grass field.
Join Park Archeologist Dr. Bret Ruby on a walking tour of Seip Earthworks.

NPS Photo / Susan Knisley

Seip Earthworks

Date: June 14, 2024
Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: 7058 US Rt. 50, Bainbridge, OH 45612

Seip Earthworks is a complex masterpiece of ancient Indigenous landscape architecture. Miles of earthen walls encompass vast sacred spaces laid out in precise geometric forms aligned to the cyclical movements of the Sun and Moon. The centerpiece of this expansive composition is an enormous burial monument that forever connects the communities of the present to those of the American Indian ancestors. Surrounding it all is an unseen archaeological landscape filled with remnants of ritual architecture, craft workshops, and everyday settlements. Park Archaeologist Dr. Bret J. Ruby will lead a walking tour of this hidden Hopewell landscape.
two large descriptive signs lead visitors into a wide grassy field.
Hopewell Mound Group is a 130-acre site and includes a 2.4 mile interpretive trail.

NPS Photo / Tom Engberg

Hopewell Mound Group

Date: July 12, 2024
Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: 4731 Sulphur Lick Rd, Chillicothe, OH 45601

While most Hopewell complexes were seemingly used for less than two centuries, evidence suggests that the Hopewell Mound Group maintained its significance as a ceremonial center throughout the entire era of the Hopewell Culture in Ohio, approximately 400 years. Extended use of these features indicates that the Hopewell Mound Group was the ceremonial center among all the earthworks in this area. At 111 acres, the main enclosure here is the largest single Hopewell earthen-walled area ever found and contained the largest Hopewell burial mound ever built. Come walk the grounds of this ancient sacred area with Dr. Tim Everhart, Cultural Resource Program Manager, to learn what archaeologists first uncovered here and discover what we have learned about the Hopewell culture through excavations over the last century.
a group of adults gather around a public outdoor space some are sitting some are standing talking and gazing at site features.
The overlook at Hopeton Earthworks gives visitors an opportunity to see the entire landscape.

NPS Photo / Tom Engberg

Hopeton Earthworks

Date: August 9, 2024
Time: 10:00 am - 1:00 pm
Location: 990 Hopetown Rd, Chillicothe, OH 45601

Hopeton Earthworks is paired with the Mound City Group as part of a vast and ancient American Indian ceremonial landscape. This complex masterpiece of landscape architecture includes earthen monuments memorializing ancestral shrines, and geometric enclosures aligned to the endless cycles of Sun and Moon. Around and under it all is an unseen archaeological landscape marked by timber post circles, craft workshops and everyday settlements. Park Archaeologist Dr. Bret J. Ruby will lead a walking tour of this hidden Hopewell landscape.

Meet the Archeologists

Bret J. Ruby is an archeologist with the National Park Service and serves as Director of Resource Stewardship at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park. Dr. Ruby has a keen interest in the ancient and modern histories of American Indian peoples. He has directed archeological fieldwork in the North American Midwest, Southwest, and Pacific Northwest for nearly 30 years. His primary research interests focus on Hopewell archeology—the archeology of an American Indian religious movement that swept over the Eastern Woodlands nearly 2000 years ago. He has published widely on community organization, craft production, and inter-regional interaction during the Hopewell period. Dr. Ruby served as subject matter expert and major contributor to Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks: A Nomination to the World Heritage List by the United States of America. In 2015 he forged an international partnership with the German Archaeological Institute to complete a landscape-scale geomagnetic survey in the park. This research resulted in the largest archaeomagnetic dataset ever collected in North America and revealed a rich array of previously unknown domestic occupations and ceremonial architecture, including several ditched enclosures and monumental timber post circles or “woodhenges.” Most recently, he’s developed research collaborations with citizens of the Shawnee Tribe, the Eastern Shawnee Tribe, the Miami Nation, the Wyandotte Tribe, and the Osage Nation.

Dr. Ruby holds a BA in anthropology from Kent State University, and a PhD in anthropology from Indiana University. His professional career began at Hopewell Culture National Historical Park; continued through 12 years working as a Cultural Resource Manager and Coordinator for Native American Affairs with the United States Army at Fort Bliss, Texas and Fort Lewis, Washington; and returned full circle to Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in 2011.

Tim Everhart is the Cultural Resources Program Manager at Hopewell Culture NHP where he curates the parks collection and co-directs archaeological research with Dr. Bret Ruby. Born and raised in Ross County, Ohio, he graduated from Paint Valley High School before going on to earn a BS in Anthropological Sciences from The Ohio State University and an MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Michigan. Though his main interests lie in precontact and historic American Indian people of southern Ohio, his research has taken him across the United States and to more distant locales including Madagascar, Romania, Oman, and Germany. Across the last decade, the main thrust of his research has focused on the earthen monuments constructed by the Hopewell, with a particular focus on how different peoples have understood and engaged them across the last two millennia. His published works have appeared in the discipline’s top peer-reviewed journals including American Antiquity and the Journal of Anthropological Archaeology, as well as regional venues such as the Midcontinental Journal of Archaeology. More recently, his work has centered on designing and completing research programs in collaboration with American Indian people, which has expanded the Park’s partnerships in co-stewardship and research with its Tribal Partners. He joined the park in a permanent capacity in May of 2023 following 12 years of seasonal roles.

Additional opportunities to Witness Ancient Brilliance at the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks:

The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks consists of eight separate earthworks. Visitors are invited to join tours at our partner locations. Each of these tours are held at Ohio History Connection properties.

First Friday Tours of the Great Circle Earthworks:
Road Trippin' with Truda: First Friday Tour of the Great Circle - Ohio History Connection

Round out your UNESCO World Heritage experience with a visit to the Fort Ancient Earthworks
Road Trippin' with Truda: Fort Ancient - Ohio History Connection

While Serpent Mound is not a part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, we invite visitors to learn about their Friday tours:
Road Trippin' with Truda: Second Friday Tour of Serpent Mound - Ohio History Connection

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park

Last updated: May 31, 2024