On December 8, 2016, the Ohio Senate adopted Senate Concurrent Resolution 16, expressing support for the nomination of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Ohio House adopted the resolution in May of this year. Concurrent resolutions are often adopted informing the U.S. Congress to the General Assembly’s position on issues before Congress. The resolution states:

BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE OF THE STATE OF OHIO (THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES CONCURRING):

WHEREAS, The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, located in Warren County, Ross County, and Licking County, were the epicenter of a vibrant American Indian culture that lived in Ohio approximately 2,000 years ago; and

WHEREAS, These sites were ceremonial and social centers, characterized by enormous earthwork constructions that feature precise geometric shapes, standard units of measure, accurate alignments to the rising and setting of the sun and moon, and deposits of artifacts of exceptional artistic merit crafted from exotic raw materials obtained from as far away as the coast of the Atlantic Ocean and the Rocky Mountains; and

WHEREAS, Together, the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are the best preserved examples of monumental earthworks constructed by the indigenous people and cultures in the Ohio Valley, which are distinct from other mound-building cultures in Eastern North America; and

WHEREAS, The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks have helped shape the public understanding of American Indian cultural developments and heritage in North America; and

WHEREAS, The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks are recognized nationally and internationally as a masterpiece of human creative genius and an exceptional testimony to past American Indian cultural traditions and knowledge; and

WHEREAS, The Hopewell Ceremonial sites at the Newark Earthworks and Fort Ancient, which are owned and managed by the Ohio History Connection, are currently listed as National Historic Landmarks; and

WHEREAS, The Hopewell Ceremonial sites of Hopeton, High Bank, Seip, Mound City, and Hopewell Mound Group are owned and managed by the National Park Service and are currently listed as National Historic Landmarks; andWHEREAS, World Heritage Site designation of this collection of sites by UNESCO will attract significant domestic and international tourism to the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks and to the region, resulting in millions of dollars in increased spending and investment; and

WHEREAS, The 126th Ohio General Assembly designated the Newark Earthworks as Ohio's official prehistoric monument; and

WHEREAS, The Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi, the National Congress of American Indians, and other Tribal Nations have expressed their support for the nomination of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and

WHEREAS, The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks would be the first and only World Heritage Site located in Ohio; now therefore be it

RESOLVED, That we, the members of the 131st General Assembly of the state of Ohio, recognize the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as having universal cultural significance and express support for the nomination of the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks as a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Clerk of the Senate transmit duly authenticated copies of this resolution to the Director of the United States Department of the Interior, each member of the Ohio Congressional delegation, and the news media of Ohio.