Archaeology Magazine

A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Ohio's Hopewell People Imported Their Stone Pipes

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

SCIOTO COUNTY, OHIO—It had been assumed that stone pipes and other artifacts excavated from southern Ohio’s Tremper Mound in the early twentieth century were carved from local stone some 2,000 years ago. Yet a new investigation shows that most of the stone and perhaps even the finished objects themselves were imported from Illinois and Minnesota. The Hopewell people of southern Ohio are also known to have collected obsidian from Wyoming, mica from the Appalachians, shells from the Gulf Coast, and exotic animal skulls from distant regions. “Strange animals, strange minerals, strange things were really a focus,” said Thomas Emerson of the University of Illinois.