Gallery - Following in Ancient Footsteps

Following in Ancient Footsteps tells the story of Ohio's indigenous peoples, from the prehistoric period when they first migrated here to the first contact with European settlers.

Locations for Tour

The Adena Effigy Pipe is not only Ohio's state artifact, it's one of the earliest representations we have of a human face from 2,000 years ago.

The Shaman of Newark is a stone effigy depicting a man or woman wearing a bear mask.

This effigy pipe is unique because it's one of the few representations we have of a female form.

While today's archaeologists believe this large deposit of flint blanks was buried as an act of ceremony, the specific reason is still unknown.

This case holds incredible artifacts that held great symbolism for the ancient cultures of Ohio and were used in acts of ceremony.

The progression of style in stone technology is on display in this case. Changes in the method of hafting - attaching a point to a spear or arrow shaft - were the primary driver of change in the designs shown here.

Seip Mound was one of the main features of the earthwork complex that is now known as Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.

These three effigy pipes were found by Henry Shetrone during his excavation of Seip Mound. In addition to their large size, the dog effigy is particularly of note due to the depiction of a human head between its paws, and that it's curly tail…

Fort Ancient is the largest hilltop enclosure in North America.

This incredible collection of animal effigy pipes was found in Tremper Mound. The pipes were carved of Ohio pipestone and represent a variety of animals significant to the Hopewell. The mass burial of these pipes may have represented a seismic…

On display in this exhibit are two petroglyphs - images that were carved thousands of years ago into rock.

At 1,348 feet long, Serpent Mound is the largest serpent effigy in the world. Data suggests that it was created by the Fort Ancient people between 1025 A.D. and 1215 A.D.

This stone carving, known as the Rattlesnake Tablet, depicts a serpent-like figure that some believe may represent a spirit from the underworld.

Archaeology sits at the nexus of many disciplines, combining aspects of study from the sciences, history, anthropology and more to reveal new insights about the many groups of people that have inhabited the Ohio River Valley.

The best of the best, this case features some of the most incredible artifacts in our collection. Regardless of the medium used, each one is a masterpiece of form and intention.