Subjects: Fort Ancient culture; Native American history and society; Mounds -- Ohio -- Adams County; Places: Adams County (Ohio); Collection: Serpent Mound collection Source: SC 804 Item ID: OHS: AL07143.tif Description: Aerial view in color of Serpent Mound, Adams County, Ohio.
Serpent Mound is a spectacular effigy earthwork of a serpent uncoiling along a prominent ridgetop in northern Adams County, Ohio. From the tip of its nose to the end of its tail, the effigy is 1,348 feet long. When it was originally described, in 1848, the body of the serpent was five feet high and 30 feet wide.
Excavations conducted in 1991 recovered charcoal that returned radiocarbon dates suggesting that the Fort Ancient people built the mound between about 1025 A.D. and 1215 A.D.
Serpents are a common feature in the art of the Late Prehistoric Period (900 A.D. to 1650 A.D.). Many American Indians of the Eastern Woodlands believed the Great Serpent was a powerful spirit of the Underworld. Serpent Mound may be a representation of these beliefs.
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 is recognized as a National Historic Landmark. Width: 2767 pixels Height: 2200 pixels