The National Park Service has declared that historic Ohio earthworks have been proposed as the country’s next UNESCO World Heritage Site

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Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and the Statue of Liberty would all be included.

The “Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks” have been nominated to the World Heritage List by the National Park Service (NPS). The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are a collection of eight archeological sites in southern Ohio that are part of the Hopewell Culture National Historical Park and affiliated State of Ohio and Ohio History Connection holdings. The UNESCO World Heritage Committee will assess this nomination in the summer of 2023.

“World Heritage designation would be a tremendous opportunity to elevate the outstanding universal value these sites have, and to further the effort to protect them for future generations to appreciate and enjoy,” said National Park Service Director Chuck Sams. “The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are an important example of the ancient history of the Indigenous peoples of America that help us tell the world the whole story of America and the remarkable diversity of our cultural heritage.”

These earthworks were constructed by American Indians during the middle Woodland period (1,500–2,200 years ago), who are now known as the Hopewell Culture. The earthworks, which were constructed on a massive scale and with a standard unit of measurement, produce accurate squares, circles, and octagons, as well as a hilltop shaped to enclose a wide plaza.

The geometric formations are deployed regularly over long distances, encoding alignments with both the sun’s cycles and the moon’s vastly more complicated patterns. The earthworks’ builders interacted with individuals from as far away as the Yellowstone basin and Florida, according to artifacts that are among the most exceptional art objects made in pre-Columbian North America. These are some of the world’s largest earthworks that aren’t fortresses or defensive buildings.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee is made up of delegates from 21 countries who were elected by the World Heritage Convention’s members; it is guided by the International Council on Monuments and Sites and makes the ultimate judgment on nominations. The earthworks would join Stonehenge, Mesa Verde, and Peru’s Nazca Lines as examples of colossal works by ancient peoples on the list if they were designated.

source nat park service

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