News from OAC

Ohio HB 75 Passes House; Now It is the Senate?s Turn

On December 17, 2009, the Ohio House passed HB 75, the Ohio Historical Society income tax check-off, funds from which the Society will use for a competitive matching grants program for historical societies and historic preservation organizations.  The bill passed by a vote of 95 – 1.  We are very close to getting the income tax check-off enacted into law.  The next steps are for the Senate Ways & Means & Economic Development Committee to finish hearings on SB 60, the companion bill to HB 75, and vote it out of committee so that the full Senate can vote on the bill.  Please contact your state Senator today and ask him or her to support Senate Bill 60.  To find and contact your state Senator go to and type in your zip code where indicated.

OAC Joins Coalition for Full Funding of Historic Preservation Fund

At its December 4, 2009 Board meeting, the Ohio Archaeological Council’s Board of Directors approved joining the Coalition for Full Funding of the Historic Preservation Fund (HPF).  The Coalition is comprised of national, state, and local organizations, agencies, and businesses who support securing full permanent funding for the HPF. The Society for American Archaeology, the Society for Historical Archaeology, and the American Cultural Resources Association are among the Coalition’s members. 


What is the HPF?   The HPF provides funding for State and Tribal Historic Preservation Offices (SHPO/THPO).  These agencies administer Federal and State programs that support cultural heritage efforts in their States and on Tribal lands.  HPF money is used to operate SHPOs and THPOs, for certified local government grants, for survey and planning grants, and for other programs. The HPF's sole source of revenue is income from off-shore oil and gas leases - income from non-renewable resources supporting the preservation of other non-renewable resources, our Nation's historic heritage. Every year $150 million in off-shore oil lease revenue is deposited in the HPF, but the full amount has NEVER been appropriated. In fact, the appropriation is usually less than one third of that amount. Full, permanent funding of the HPF would make a very big difference for archaeological research and preservation efforts throughout Ohio.

Why Now? Recent Federal legislation, including H.R. 3534 - the (Consolidated Land, Energy, and Aquatic Resources (CLEAR) Act of 2009) - and S.2747 (Land and Water Conservation Authorization and Funding Act of 2009) propose full funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The HPF was modeled after the LWCF and has long been considered a "sister fund" to it. Both programs draw their funding from the same off-shore oil revenues. With enough grassroots involvement and support from Congress, the Coalition believes that it is possible to have full and permanent funding for the HPF added to one or both of those bills.


Visit to learn more about the HPF, the programs it supports, and the Coalition.

OAC Testifies on Ohio House Bill 75

On November 18, 2009, OAC Trustee Al Tonetti testified before the Ohio House State Governemnt Committee in favor of House Bill 75.  HB75 will amend the Ohio Revised Code to allow taxpayers to contribute a portion of their income tax refunds to the Ohio Historical Society.  A portion of these funds will be made available through grants to preservation and historical organizations such as the OAC.   Read the text of the testimony.

House Bill 75 unanimously passed by the House State Government Committee on November 18.  It now goes to the full house for a vote, which could happen before the end of the calendar year.  That same morning, the Senate companion bill, SB 60, had its first hearing in the Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee.  The OAC will testify in support of SB 60 when and if necessary.  OAC members are requested to contact their state Representative asking them to support passage of HB 75 when it comes up for a vote in the House, and the members of the Senate Ways and Means and Economic Development Committee  to support SB 60.  Please contact Al Tonetti, Chair of the OAC’s Government Affairs Committee, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., with any questions, and if you receive a reply from your legislator please forward the reply to Al.


2009 OAC Awards Presented at Fall Conference

During the Fall OAC conference in Newark, President Lynn Simonelli presented two awards recognizing significant contributions to Ohio Archaeology.  The CEMEX corporation received the 2009 OAC Board of Directors' award and Jeb Bowen was given the OAC Award for Public Awareness.  The text of each award presentation follows. 

Rob Cook presents OAC Board of Directors Award to Cemex's Fairborn Plant Manager, Alberto Calleros.CEMEX Corporation’s significant contribution to the advancement of archaeology in Ohio is the result of their effort to preserve and allow archaeological research at the Wildcat site, a significant Fort Ancient settlement in the Great Miami River Valley in Dayton.  CEMEX was nominated by Rob Cook.

In 2007, Rob contacted CEMEX inquiring about the possibility of conducting fieldwork at the site.  He was told that CEMEX was interested in selling the property for commercial development, and they actually had a sizeable bid for the property.  After further consideration, the sale was canceled and Rob was given three years to conduct fieldwork, permission rarely granted by the aggregate mining industry.  Rob’s research at the site, some of which has been presented at Ohio Archaeological Council meetings, shows that the site is a significant Fort Ancient settlement that retains important archaeological research values.  CEMEX indicated to Rob that if there was enough integrity to the site, they would work to preserve it.  They are currently working toward preservation.  These actions by the CEMEX Corporation are deserving of broad recognition through the award of the Ohio Archaeological Council’s 2009 Board of Directors Award.



Jeb Bowen receives Public Awareness Award from President Lynn Simonelli.Jeb Bowen’s significant contribution to the advancement of archaeology in Ohio is best exemplified by his decades of work with avocational archaeologists, artifact collectors, and private land owners in documenting, recording, and excavating archaeological sites. These segments of the public are often underserved by professional archaeologists, yet extremely knowledgeable about archaeological sites in their local area or on their property.  Jeb was nominated by Martha Otto and Al Tonetti. 

Jeb has devoted most of his professional career to working with and educating avocational archaeologists, artifact collectors, and private land owners about archaeology.   In the process he has documented and recorded nearly 3,000 archaeological sites in the Ohio Archaeological Inventory, approximately six percent of all sites documented.  The overwhelming majority of these sites document the artifact collections of avocational archaeologists, artifact collectors, and private land owners.  Jeb has directed a number of archaeological excavations assisted by avocational archaeologists, artifact collectors, and private land owners.  Particularly outstanding are his investigations of the Pearson site and the Ensign site in Sandusky County.  This research has helped define the Late Prehistoric Sandusky culture of the Western Lake Erie basin.  Over the last few years he has been assisting a private land owner in investigating the remaining portion of the Fort Ancient period Feurt Village site in Scioto County.  He has guided the excavations and documented the efforts, supported by his private resources. The cultural materials from many of Jeb’s excavations are curated at the Ohio Historical Society. 

Jeb has given more than 100 presentations to more than 20 different groups of avocational archaeologists and artifact collectors, principally chapters of the Archaeological Society of Ohio.  Jeb has written 26 articles for the ASO’s quarterly publication, Ohio Archaeologist, as well as articles for other publications. 

Jeb’s contributions in fostering awareness of archaeology among avocational archaeologists, artifact collectors, and private land owners is unprecedented, exemplary, and most worthy of the Ohio Archaeological Council’s 2009 Public Awareness Award.





OAC Supports World Heritage List Nominations

July 28, 2009

Hon. Ken Salazar

Secretary of the Interior

1849 C St. NW

Washington DC 20240


Dear Secretary Salazar:

On behalf of the Ohio Archaeological Council, a private, nonprofit, scientific, and educational membership organization comprised of professional archaeologists, students, and avocational archaeologists, I write urging that in the next few years the Department of the Interior submit the nominations for Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, Serpent Mound, and Dayton Aviation Sites to the World Heritage Centre for inscription on the World Heritage List.   

Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks is composed of three outstanding sites associated with Ohio’s Hopewell Culture:  Fort Ancient Earthworks, Newark Earthworks, and Hopewell Culture National Historical Park.  Collectively, these National Historic Landmarks meet the World Heritage criteria as best representing the tangible evidence of the belief systems and artistry of Native Americans from the prehistoric Ohio Hopewell culture.  Their extensive, complex network of large, geometrically shaped earthworks is an extraordinary example of monumental architecture and landscape design. 

Serpent Mound, a National Historic Landmark, is the largest serpent effigy in the ancient world, extending for more than 1300 feet along a bluff overlooking Ohio Brush Creek.  It was the first prehistoric site in North America to be preserved as a public park, purchased by Harvard University’s Peabody Museum of American Archaeology in 1886 and transferred to the Ohio Historical Society in 1900.  It is one of the foremost examples of monumental sculpture in the world.

Dayton Aviation Sites is composed of four National Historic Landmarks associated with the Wright Brothers and the development of the airplane:  Huffman Prairie Flying Field at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, the Wright Cycle Company and Wright & Wright Printing shop, the Wright Flyer III, and Orville Wright’s estate of Hawthorn Hill.  They meet the World Heritage criteria concerning an important interchange of human values in the development of aviation technology.

The Ohio Archaeological Council enthusiastically supports nominating the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, Serpent Mound, and Dayton Aviation Sites to the World Heritage List because of their outstanding universal value as landmark achievements of the indigenous cultures of eastern North America and the interchange of human values in the development of aviation technology, respectively.  They are of fundamental importance to the world’s understanding of North America's ancient past, the history of historic preservation in America, the development of the scientific discipline of modern archaeology, and development of aviation.



Lynn Simonelli



c.         Thomas L. Strickland, Asst. Sec. Of the Interior for Fish, Wildlife and Parks

            Stephen Morris, National Park Service, Officer of International Affairs

OAC Comments to Ohio State Budget Conference Committee


June 26, 2009


Dear Conference Committee Member:


The recent decision by the Ohio Senate to eliminate the Outreach and Partnerships program of the Ohio Historical Society (OHS) [budget line 509] is unwise.  This program helps hundreds of students and teachers fulfill Ohio Department of Education content standards, and more than 800 local historical organizations receive the technical assistance needed to maintain the hundreds of historical sites throughout Ohio that are the backbone of Ohio’s tourism industry.  We recognize that the current budget crisis does not permit funding all programs at previous levels, but eliminating OHS’ outreach and education services program is not only uncalled for, it will severely impact our children’s education, our economy, and Ohio’s history.


Ohio has an extremely rich and diverse history.  Our historical places are economic assets.  We are fortunate to have multiple World Heritage nominated sites in Ohio, and appreciation and enhancement of these and similar sites is critical to local and regional economies.  We should take pride in Ohio’s history and its ability to foster education and economic development, not relegate it for the chopping block.  Eliminating funding for programs that foster an appreciation for historical sites that educate the world about Ohio’s unique role in the development and growth of our great Nation may be penny wise, but it is pound foolish.


Ohio’s historical sites and local historical organizations are irreplaceable assets in their communities and the state.  By reinstating funding for OHS’ budget line 509, you can ensure that the hundreds of local historical organizations that support the hundreds of historical sites in Ohio will get the necessary technical assistance they need from OHS to continue their educational and tourism programs.  By eliminating funding you will severely impact their ability to help bring Ohio out of its economic fatigue.


Please reconsider this cut and restore funding to OHS’ Outreach and Partnerships programs, budget line 509.




Lynn M. Simonelli, President

Ohio Archaeological Council

(937) 239-0547


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