Steel Earthworks Guided Tour
Guided Tours with Archaeologists Jarrod Burks and Tim Everhart
Saturday, July 20, 2019 at 11am at the Junction Earthworks Preserve
Registration is now closed!
The Junction and Steel Earthwork preserves are unique archaeological sites containing at least 21 monumental earthen enclosures believed to be around 2,000 years old. The American Indians who constructed these monumental landscapes engaged in complex ritual practices, involving the acquisition of exotic raw materials from hundreds of miles away, flamboyant mortuary displays, and the movement of millions of basket-loads of soil. The Steel and Junction Group Sites are a unique record of these activities and may hold insights to many of the unanswered questions of the renowned Pre-Columbian American Indian societies of this region. For more information on these two sites click here.
Join Archaeologists Jarrod Burks and Tim Everhart on guided tours of Steel Earthworks at the Junction Earthwork Preserve. Dr. Burks was instrumental in rediscovering the earthwork and will share insights into the interesting discoveries detected through magnetic surveys of the site. Tim Everhart has excavated at the Steel and Junction Group Preserves the last two summers and will share the exciting revelations made during his time in the field.
Both hikes begin at 11am at the Steel Earthworks Prairie Loop. Please note: Participants will need to make their way to the trailhead, which is at the end of a one-mile-long direct and flat trail that follows an abandoned railroad corridor, no later than 10:45am to ensure that the hikes start on time! Registration for the hikes is required and will open on July 1. Space is limited!
Dr. Jarrod Burks is a professional archaeologist who works for Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc., a private archaeology firm in Columbus, Ohio. One of his great passions is relocating ancient earthwork sites through geophysical survey, which uses weird machines with names like magnetometer and ground-penetrating radar. Jarrod has surveyed several dozen earthwork sites in Ohio, including Serpent Mound. He has made numerous unique discoveries, such as finding previously unknown earthwork sites, revealing new enclosures at well-known sites, and uncovering the remains of amazing wooden architecture. Jarrod is a trustee of the Ohio Archaeological Council, a nonprofit organization of professional and avocational archaeologists, the President and a founding Board member of the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy (www.earthworksconservancy.org), and the Treasurer of the Midwest Archaeological Conference.
Jarrod has intensively studied Junction and Steel. By conducting magnetic ground-penetrating surveys of Steel, he has been able to bring previously invisible earthworks back to life. The results of his research and his analysis of geophysical data show that the earthwork complex is actually comprised of 24 known enclosures, not 11 as was previously believed. This revelation means Steel has the highest concentration of earthworks of any one single Hopewell site in Ohio!
Tim Everhart is an archaeologist and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan Museum of Anthropological Archaeology. He studies the role of monuments in small-scale societies with his research focusing in the Central Scioto River Valley of Southern Ohio among the earthworks of Woodland Societies where he has worked for nearly a decade. Tim has also completed field research in Germany, Romania, Oman, Madagascar, and in various regions across the United States.
The Woodland Ohio Monumentality Project aims to understand the diversity of American Indian monuments constructed during the Woodland Period (1,000 BC – AD 900). Specifically, it seeks to document when traditions of conical mound construction gave way to the making of geometric earthworks, explain how these earthworks were used, and discover the scale and composition of communities utilizing them. Excavations at these sites have begun to offer answers to these questions, while also inspiring many more!
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