The Scippo-Scioto Earthworks, A newly Discovered Earthwork in Pickaway County, Ohio

15 Apr
April 15, 2017
Jerrel C. Anderson
Vienna, West Virginia


The government Agriculture Department aerial photographs taken of the Ohio landscape in 1938 have again proven (Anderson, 1980) to be a fertile ground for the discovery of ancient earthworks. I am preparing a series of articles on what I have discovered over the last 50 years of the archaeology of southern Pickaway and northern Ross Counties of Ohio. In line with this, the government aerial photographs and the much more recent Google Earth ones are being used in the search for undiscovered earthwork sites.

The earthwork complex covered in this article was very obvious in the 1938 aerials and also in later aerials. It is incredible that this earthwork was not found by someone before this. The salient feature evident in the 1938 photo was a circular earthwork situated on the high bluff above the Scioto River a short distance west of its junction with Scippo Creek. This circle lies very near the southern end of the Pickaway County Airport runway. Inspection of other aerial photos revealed that this circle is surrounded by other features making this earthwork a complex one of major size and also one with a unique character.

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Jerrel interviewed on Revolution Radio’s “An Open Canvas”

02 Nov
November 2, 2015

Mounds Below: Stars Above

27 May
May 27, 2015
published by Ohio Archaeologist, Vol. 65, No. 1, Winter 2015

The great geometric earthworks of Ohio have fascinated students of the ancient past ever since their discovery by the American colonists in the late 1700’s. The use of different geometric forms in various combinations and the realization that they used a standard unit of length and that many were oriented to lunar rises and sets, as well as some solar events, bears witness to the level of astronomical knowledge of the ancient builders. A number of the earthworks used similar designs, and this attests to a common core of expressions and associated meanings. Read more →

Ohio Archaeology Month: Blennerhassett Island Archaeology

30 Oct
October 30, 2014
The Athens County Historical Society and Museum and the City of Athens Government Channel (TGC) present Dr. Jerrel Anderson, from the Blennerhassett Museum of Regional History. Dr. Anderson goes into great detail of the prehistoric and historic archaeological findings from Blennerhassett Island.

The Circleville Earthwork and Hopewell

01 Dec
December 1, 2011
published by the Ohio Archaeologist, Vol. 61, No. 1, Winter 2011

It is time to restore the Circleville earthwork to its former vaunted stature — time to undo the damage done to the reputation of this remarkable earthwork by no other than E. G. Squier and E. Davis (Squier and Davis 1848). These two, in their epochal 1848 work, Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley, barely mentioned the Circleville earthwork. They did so almost as an afterthought in their description of the Frankfort Works: Read more →