"The Newark Earthworks are the most extensive, numerous and diversified in style and character, of any within the state."
--Henry Howe 1888
The Newark Earthworks were the largest set of geometric earthen enclosures in the world. Built by prehistoric Hopewell people between 100 BC and AD 500, this architectural wonder of ancient America was part cathedral, part cemetery, and part astronomical observatory.
Originally covering more than four square miles, today only three major segments are preserved:
Maintained by the Ohio Historical Society since the 1930s, these sites are the best preserved examples of the monumental geometric earthworks of the Hopewell culture. The surviving parts of the Newark Earthworks are recognized as a National Historic Landmark. In 2006, the State of Ohio designated the Newark Earthworks as "the official prehistoric monument of the state."
LEARN MORE: Learn more about the Newark Earthworks by visiting the Great Circle Museum. Visitors are invited to watch an interactive video explaining the significance of the site and tour a 1,000-square-foot exhibit that includes a timeline of Ohio's ancient cultures and an explanation of why American Indians regard the Newark Earthworks as a sacred site. The exhibit also details how the earthworks align with the rising and setting of the moon. Following the museum tour, visitors can take self-guided tours of the grounds during daylight hours. The Great Circle Earthworks are part of the Newark Earthworks consisting of the nearby Octagon Earthworks and Wright Earthworks. The Great Circle Museum is also the new home of the Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau (LCCVB). The LCCVB offers travel-related products and services to assist visitors in Licking County. For more information, call 800.589.8224 or visit www.lccvb.com