The Ohio State University at Newark


Newark Earthworks Center Receives Scenic Ohio Award

NEWARK, Ohio, Jan. 17, 2017 — The Newark Earthworks Center (NEC) is one of six organizations to receive a 2016 Scenic Ohio Award in recognition of their collective work to preserve Ohio landscapes. The Scenic Ohio Awards recognize community organizations, government agencies and individuals who have improved, conserved, protected and enhanced Ohio's scenic resources. The 2016 Scenic Ohio Award recipients also include National Park Service, Ohio History Connection, Dayton Society of Natural History, Arc of Appalachia and Explore Licking County.

NEC is an interdisciplinary academic center of The Ohio State University located at the Newark campus. NEC facilitates the understanding of American Indian cultural and scientific achievements through a focus on American Indian tribal nations and the world-renowned Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks and Serpent Mound, which are recognized as works of human genius and are eligible for nomination to be inscribed as a World Heritage site. NEC's activities promote deeper understanding of Ohio's American Indian history from thousands of years ago to the present. Interim Director Marti Chaatsmith and former director Dr. Richard Shiels are members of the World Heritage-Ohio Executive Committee, coordinating Ohio's efforts toward United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage status. NEC's collaborations with partners such as the Ohio History Connection and National Park Service develops interdisciplinary research and projects, public events and teaching resources.

Ohio's role as an integral cultural crossroads throughout history is exemplified by unique American Indian earthworks. Ohio has two current American Indian World Heritage nominations, the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks and Serpent Mound. The Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks consists of three major sites from across Ohio: The Newark Earthworks, Hopewell Culture National Historic Park and Fort Ancient State Memorial. All were constructed during the Hopewell Cultural period 2,000 years ago (100 B.C.–400 A.D.) and are noted for their geometrical precision and enormous scale. At a quarter of a mile long, Serpent Mound is the largest documented surviving example of an ancient effigy mound in the world.

Ohio's earthworks are poised to join such cultural icons as the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge and the Acropolis as World Heritage Sites through the nomination process of UNESCO. The World Heritage Program was established to recognize and encourage the protection of the world's most important cultural and natural treasures. Over 1,000 sites have been inscribed; only 23 of them are in the United States. For more information, contact Marti Chaatsmith, interim director, at 740-364-9574 or Sheila Carpenter, office assistant, at 740-364-9574 or email earthworks@osu.edu. For updates on NEC or Ohio's UNESCO World Heritage efforts, visit their Facebook page or blog.

Photo caption: Newark Earthworks Center Interim Director Marti Chaatsmith and former director Dick Shiels receive the 2016 Scenic Ohio Award from Scenic Ohio Board Chair Gary Meisner and Scenic Ohio board members Jim McGregor and Robert Tatman.

Photo credit: Scenic Ohio

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