Fort Ancient Tour with Archaeologists Jarrod Burks and Robert Riordan

May 11, 2013

On Saturday, June 29, 2013, the Heartland Earthworks Conservancy will be offering a special event at the mysterious Fort Ancient site led by archaeologist Dr. Jarrod Burks, Vice President of HEC. The tour will begin in the South Fort, home to a Late Prehistoric period (ca. AD 1400) village, and will visit the massive, 1800-year-old earthen embankments that ring the edge of the mesa-like feature that this portion of the site occupies.  After a provided lunch, we will make our way up to the Museum where Dr. Burks will introduce us to a curious and unexpected find he made in the North Fort in 2005 while conducting a geophysical survey for the Ohio Historical Society.

We will then visit the site of this surprise find, what has become known as the Moorehead Circle, where Dr. Robert Riordan of Wright State University will talk about his extensive excavations of the Moorehead Circle and show us some of the results of this summer’s archaeological field school, including a very colorful and unusual prepared floor, limestone pavements, and rock-filled holes that once held massive posts. The Moorehead Circle is one of the most fascinating and enigmatic finds of the last several decades of Hopewell archaeology–a tour like this is perhaps a once in a lifetime chance!

Fort Ancient is an intact Hopewell hilltop enclosure located in Warren County near Lebanon, Ohio. The earthen embankment that encloses the plateau is part of one of the largest Hopewell earthwork complexes ever built, with three and a half miles of embankment walls over 20 feet high in places. The scale of these massive public works built nearly 2,000 years ago by Native Americans has long mystified scientists and citizens alike. Fort Ancient is owned by the Ohio Historical Society and managed in cooperation with the Dayton Society of Natural History.

The event will start late mid-morning and will end late mid-afternoon to give participants from farther away time to drive to and from Fort Ancient.

This event will help raise funds for HEC’s earthwork preservation endeavors. Participants must register in advance and attendance is limited.  Cost is $30 per person and includes a picnic lunch and admission to the Fort Ancient Museum. To register, email:

Registration details and event information will be sent by email. (Please make sure the above email address will not be stopped by your spam filter.)

Please feel free to write us at the above email address with any questions.

We hope you can join us for this fascinating day of discovery!