Fort Ancient Earthworks is North America’s largest ancient hilltop enclosure
UNESCO World Heritage Sites, such as Stonehenge, The Great Pyramid of Giza, and the Great Wall of China, must have “outstanding universal value to humanity. No matter where they’re located, these sites serve to honor and preserve the world’s cultural and natural heritage.” The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks joined more than 1,100 other important places on this distinguished list today. It is the first and only UNESCO site in the state of Ohio.
Five of the Hopewell earthworks sites are managed by the National Park Service, and three are managed by the Ohio History Connection; collectively they are named the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks.
The earthworks are in Licking, Ross, and Warren counties and include:
- The Ohio History Connection’s Great Circle Earthworks and Octagon Earthworks in Newark and Fort Ancient Earthworks in Oregonia.
- The National Park Service’s Hopewell Culture National Historical Park in Chillicothe, which includes the Mound City Group, Hopewell Mound Group, Seip Earthworks, High Bank Works and Hopeton Earthworks.
The UNESCO World Heritage Committee’s meeting was in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks tell the story of the American Indian culture, today known as Hopewell. It became the 25th World Heritage Site in the U.S. There are only about 1,000 World Heritage sites around the globe. These earthworks were built by Native Americans between 1,600 and 2,000 years ago. They are complex “masterpieces” of landscape architecture and are “exceptional” among ancient monuments worldwide in their enormous scale, geometric precision, and astronomical alignments.
“Inscription on the World Heritage List will call international attention to these treasures long known to Ohioans,” said Megan Wood, Executive Director and CEO of the Ohio History Connection.
Ft. Ancient, also a National Historic Landmark is only 30 minutes from Downtown Loveland. (See map below)
Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve
Museum and grounds:
Wednesday-Saturday 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday Noon – 5 p.m.
Final admission should be paid by 4:00 p.m. The Gift shop closes at 4:30 p.m. The Site closes promptly at 5:00 p.m.
If you are interested in supporting Fort Ancient, you may donate by texting SAVEHISTORY to 44-321.
Explore North America’s largest ancient hilltop enclosure, built 2,000 years ago. A National Historic Landmark, the site is thought to have served as a social and ceremonial gathering place. Experience an on-site museum and gift shop (members receive a 10% discount), recreated American Indian garden and three miles of hiking trails with scenic overlooks. Average visit time: Allow 2+ hours. Plan Your Visit!
The use of drones is prohibited at all Ohio History Connection sites. To inquire about commercial filming permits, contact Neil Thompson, manager of media and public relations, at [email protected]
Tours and Field Trips
Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve is Ohio’s first state park. In April 1891, the state legislature authorized the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society (now the Ohio History Connection) to care for the site. In 1966, Fort Ancient became nationally recognized when it was named a National Historic Landmark. Learn more here.
Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve is managed by the Ohio History Connection.