Selected Archaeology Projects in the Mid-West US…

The following selected archaeology web sites have been evaluated for public-friendliness. Do you have a web page that could be included in this list of archaeology site web pages? Forward that information using the Feedback Form provided.

Cahokia (Illinois) was the largest prehistoric Native American city north of Mexico. A major cultural, exonomic, and religious center, at its peak (AD 1050 to 1200), Cahokia's population was 10-20,000 - and was larger than that of London in 1250.

New Philadelphia (Illinois): Information and a virtual tour of the first U.S. town founded and planned by an African American.

Fort Ancient (Warren County, Ohio)

Built approximately 2,000 years ago, Fort Ancient is a Hopewell-era hilltop enclosure composed of earthen walls that surround a flattened hilltop. Scholars in the nineteenth century assumed that this and similar enclosures were defensive in nature and most of them have been given names with the word “Fort” in them.  More recent work, however,  suggets that these sites are primarily ceremonial with only a secondary defensive function, if any.

Serpent Mound (Adams County, Ohio)

Serpent Mound is an earthen spiral mound in the shape of a serpent. It is thought to be the largest serpent effigy in the world. Scholars currently think that the Fort Ancient people of the Mississipan culture , an Ohio Valley-based, mound-building society, constructed it between AD 1170 and 1270.


Mound City, Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (Ohio)

A Hopewell era site with 23 mounds surrounded by an enclosing wall, each covering the remains of a funerary building. Some held spectacular collections such as effigy smoking pipes or shimmering blankets of mica. This place is unique among surviving Hopewell era sites, and may reflect a period of time when mound building was beginning to be augmented by bigger, grander ideas about geometric form and embracing enclosure. Here the people created a collective cultural monument on a much larger scale, a possible prototype for the more precise and complex geometric figures to come.


Newark Earthworks (Newark,Ohio) are actually three distinct sites, all attributed to the Hopewell culture: the Great Circle Earthworks, the largest circular earthworks in North America; the Octagon Earthworks; and the Wright Earthworks. This mound and village complex,constructed approximatley 2,000 years ago, included a collection of enclosures that was apparently constructed in part to act as a lunar observatory, walls and alignments set to track the path of the moonrise and set as it changes throughout its 18.6 year cycle.

Octagon Moonrise, Octagon Earthworks, (Newark Ohio)
This web page by the Newark Earthworks Moonrise Working Group explains the astronomical events scheduled for 2005 when earth mounds at the site align for the northernmost moonrise on the horizon (which is part of an 18.6 year lunar cycle).

City of Deadwood Chinatown Excavations (Black Hills, S.Dakota)

Ransom Place Archaeology (Indiana)
The project uses archaeology and oral history to investigate African-American culture, business and consumption, and race and racism in Indianapolis, Indiana. This web site provides abundant information on the archaeological research overtime on 'The Circle City' neighborhood.

Indiana Archaeology
This archaeology-themed travel itinerary was created by the Indiana Division of Historic Preservation and Archaeology (DHPA).

Fort Des Moines Archaeology Site Investigations (Des Moines, Iowa)

The Fort Des Moines site was a U. S. military post from 1843-1846. This fort was the core from which modern Des Moines grew.


Updated 11/12/2013