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Wilson Celebrates Fort Ancient Designation as World Heritage Site

September 19, 2023
Steve Wilson News

COLUMBUS—State Senator Steve Wilson (R-Maineville) is celebrating the designation of the Fort Ancient Earthworks in Warren County as a World Heritage Site. 

The Fort Ancient Earthworks are part of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, which received United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage designation after a committee vote today in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

These Earthworks are the first sites in Ohio to receive World Heritage designation.

"This is a historic day for Warren County and Ohio," said Wilson. "We have known for more than a hundred years how special the Fort Ancient Earthworks are, and how sacred this site is for our Native Americans. Now, the whole world will know what a magnificent treasure we have right here in Southwestern Ohio."
Fort Ancient Earthworks is 2,000 years old and is the largest and best-preserved prehistoric hilltop enclosure in the United States. Fort Ancient Earthworks & Nature Preserve is Ohio’s first state park. Fort Ancient was named a National Historic Landmark in 1966.

The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks is the collective name of eight monumental sites operated by the Ohio History Connection and the National Park Service in Licking, Ross, and Warren counties:

•    Great Circle Earthworks (Heath)
•    Octagon Earthworks (Newark)
•    Fort Ancient Earthworks (Oregonia)
•    Hopewell Culture National Historical Park (Chillicothe)  

These sites are complex masterpieces of landscape architecture and are exceptional among ancient monuments worldwide in their enormous scale, geometric precision, and astronomical alignments.

"Upon hearing that eight mounds in Ohio built by our Native American ancestors some 2,000 years ago have now been officially designated World Heritage sites, my immediate reaction was pure excitement and exhilaration,” said Chief Glenna Wallace of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma. 

“Tears came to my eyes, and exhilaration turned into reflection, knowing that the world will now see and recognize the commitment, spirituality, imaginative artistry and knowledge of complex architecture to produce magnificent earthworks. Our ancestors were true geniuses."

The National Park Service and the Ohio History Connection are planning multiple events in October that are free and open to the public to commemorate the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks being inscribed as Ohio’s first UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To find out more about the events, visit hopewellearthworks.org.