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End of Hopewell Culture in North America

The Prehistoric Indian culture called the Hopewell (or Hopewellian) flourished in the Ohio and Mississippi river valleys during the Formative period of North America. Just like the Poverty Point, Adena, and Mississippian cultures, the Hopewell culture was known for the great mounds their people built in Ohio and some portions of Illinois. Some of the most well-known mounds were first discovered in the property of a farmer named Captain M.C. Hopewell in Chillicothe, Ohio, from which the Hopewell name was taken. These mounds reached up to forty meters high and contained multiple burials. Some of the mounds were geometric in shape, but others were shaped like animals, particularly the massive Serpent Mound found in Peebles, Ohio. The end of the Hopewell culture is recorded on the Biblical Timeline with World History during 1150 AD.

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“Hopewell mounds.”

The Hopewellians were known for their vast trade networks from which they imported obsidian, copper, shells, mica, and alligator bones from different parts of the present-day United States. Many of these objects were recovered from the Hopewell sites. They were also master craftsmen who specialized in making stone pipes, ceramics, obsidian spear points, and jewelry. These objects were later deposited under the mounds as grave goods.

The Hopewell people cultivated the Native American staple of corn, beans, and squash. They continued hunting and gathering food over the years. For reasons still unknown, the Hopewell culture disappeared between 700 and 1300 AD. Just like other cultures, archeologists point to climate change, drought, warfare, and epidemics as possible causes of the end of the Hopewell Culture.

Picture By Heironymous Rowe at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Dunbar, Willis Frederick. Michigan: A History of the Wolverine State. Grand Rapids: W.B. Eerdmans Pub., 1965.
Hall, Robert L. An Archaeology of the Soul: North American Indian Belief and Ritual. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1997.
Waldman, Carl, and Molly Braun. Encyclopedia of Native American Tribes. New York, NY: Facts on File, 1988.
“Who Were the Hopewell?” Archaeology Magazine Archive. Accessed October 12, 2016.
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