Kevin R. Schwarz

Abstract

The Great Hopewell Road is a prehistoric parallel-walled roadway that archaeologists hypothesize to have passed from the Newark Earthworks in Licking County, Ohio, to the vicinity of Chillicothe, Ross County, Ohio, a distance of about 60 miles. Its existence was proposed during the nineteenth century and it received renewed interest when Bradley Lepper of the Ohio Historical Society investigated it in the 1990s. This article reviews recent attempts to identify the Great Hopewell Road south of the Newark Earthworks, based on efforts by the Ohio Historical Society, a cultural resource management project by ASC Group, Inc., and other investigations. While evidence of the prehistoric road is convincing in some cases, in other cases the search for the signature and deposits associated with it has proved elusive. An evaluation of the strength of evidence is applied to elicit identification trends. The study concludes by commenting on the unique potential of the site to inform archaeologists about prehistoric networks and movements of people. I also comment on challenges it presents for cultural resource management archaeology.

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