Next-Gen

JamieFinneyOhioHistory

by JamieFinney
Last updated 5 years ago

Discipline:
Social Studies
Subject:
History

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JamieFinneyOhioHistory

Many American Indians of the Eastern Woodlands believed the Great Serpent was a powerful spirit of the Underworld. It is possible that Serpent Mound represents these beliefs. Other scholars consider it important that the serpent aligns astronomically to mark the passage of the seasons. The head of Serpent Mound is aligned to the setting sun on the summer solstice and the coils may be aligned to the summer and winter solstice and equinox sunrises. These alignments support the idea that Serpent Mound had a ceremonial purpose. Serpent Mound also represents an important moment in the preservation of Ohio earthworks. In 1883, Frederic Ward Putnam, curator of Harvard’s Peabody Museum, visited Serpent Mound for a second time and saw that nineteenth-century farming practices were destroying the integrity of the site.

WHAT TO DO: After exploring this page and before our class field trip to the Serpent Mound, please write a journal entry in your History Journal. Journal Prompt--Why do you think this mound was built in the shape of a serpent? What do you believe this mound was used for by the people who built it? What tools and methods do you think the builders of this mound used to construct this earthwork?

OHIO HISTORY


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