IN State Park Series #4  LbNA # 10225

OwnerHoosier Honey Bee    
Placed DateAug 14 2004
Location???, IN
Found By ???
Last Found May 12 2013
Hike Distance?


OK, Checked by Placer 10-21-10.


This state park preserves a group of mounds and other earthworks built between 160 and 120 BC by the Adena Indian culture, a group of hunter/gatherers of the Woodland Tradition. Although these mounds vary in shape and size, they share some common features. A flat central platform is surrounded by a ditch. Bordering the far side of the ditch, is a high embankment. A break in the outer embankment and a filled in section of the ditch forms a gateway where people could enter and exit. The gateway and central platform are always the same height as the surrounding land. The embankment was built up from soil dug out of the ditch. The Great Mound is 1/4 mile in circumference and is the largest earthwork in the state.

These earthworks were used for religious ceremonies. There are still many unanswered questions about the nature of the rituals that took place in the mounds. But in 1988, archaeologists discovered that four of the mounds lie in an astronomical alignment. Dips in the earthen wall of the Great Mound align with 3 smaller earthworks around its perimeter. These alignments correspond with the angles of the setting sun on the summer & winter solstice (the longest and shortest day) and the vernal & autumnal equinox (the hours of daylight and darkness being equal). Other alignments track the rising of the bright stars Rigel, Aldebaran, and Fomalhaut.


With compass in hand, circle the outside of the Great Mound. Stop at the point where the center of the Great Mound and the center of one of the nearby earthworks is in alignment with the angle of the setting sun on the day of the summer solstice. Maintaining this heading, start walking across one of these earthworks and stop when you reach the ditch on the other side. In front of you should be a white oak tree with a triangle burn at the base of the trunk. If you take 6 steps due North, you just might discover an artifact inside a decaying tree stump.


You cannot enter the Great Mound except at the observation area. When taking your bearing, you'll have to guesstimate the position of its center since you can't see over the outer embankment. You are allowed to walk across other earthworks in the park.