Jarrod Burks,


Like many who go in search of or stumble upon Ohio’s most notable earthen effigy, my first Serpent Mound encounter was with a paper version of the Serpent—in Squier and Davis’s 1848 compendium “Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley.” I was an undergraduate student in Anthropology at University of Illinois and I was doing research in the university library for my first term paper on archaeology—a comparison of Hopewell settlements from Illinois and Ohio. That was the first time I had ever seen the wondrous maps in Squier and Davis’s book. As a kid who recently left home (northeastern Illinois), the amazing number and variety of earthworks from Ohio depicted in this old book were almost beyond belief, especially the site from southern Ohio with a snake-shaped mound. Sure, I had seen the effigy mounds in southern Wisconsin, but nothing quite like Serpent Mound.

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