Ohio History Journal

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362 Ohio Arch

362       Ohio Arch. and His. Society Publications.  [VOL. 4








The members of the Society, and also the readers of THE

ARCHAEOLOGIST have a special interest in the earthworks and

enclosures of the Mississippi Valley. The former are proud to

be possessers and preservers, in company with the State of Ohio,

of the most extensive prehistoric fortification of the United

States. The latter, as students of antiquities, are interested in

facts obtained through explorations of the place. Both members

and readers have seen some of the numerous references to the

enclosure which have appeared from time to time in books,

magazines, and newspapers.

Although I have done work covering more than forty-three

weeks ('88, '89, '90, '91) at Fort Ancient, and published two

books containing detailed descriptions of the place, its peculiar-

ities, etc., I have never attempted a condensed report of the

discoveries. At the request of the Secretary of the Ohio Archae-

ological and Historical Society, I shall now endeavor to present

in brief form all that is known regarding Fort Ancient, its

builders, their culture, etc. I shall use all the material collected

by others as well as by my own surveys from the time of the

first mention of the place in 1809 up to February 1, 1895. In

such a synopsis, it is necessary to confine myself to conclusions

and general statements. There is not space for the details of

burials, the nature of ash-pits and notes on the village sites, etc.

Archaeologists agree in considering the enclosure of defen-

sive character. Placed, as it is, on a high plateau overlooking

the little Miami River, in central Warren county, Ohio; guarded

by precipitous ravines, made strong and steep, walled up in

places with large stones, it was a veritable ancient Gibraltar!

One may truly say that Time, recognizing its importance and

interest to Archaeologists, has dealt gently with it, for the walls

are in good condition and the entire erosion (of the last seventy

years) is less than 300 feet-out of 18,712 feet of embankment.