This book presents, for the first time, a detailed, holistic synthesis of the lifeways, culture, history, and material record of the ceremonially and socially rich Hopewell peoples who lived in the Scioto valley and neighboring areas in Ohio in the first centuries A.D. The Scioto Hopewell built monumental, 80 acre earthworks aligned precisely to astronomical events, masterfully worked glistening metals and semiprecious stones into elegant designs, and honored their dead with these vocal artifacts in community burial houses two-thirds the size of a football field. The Scioto Hopewells intricate social order and religious concepts of alliance afforded them three centuries of intercommunity peace. The first half of the work, written in the vein of classic ethnographies that focus on a local group in context, thickly describes the local, natural and symbolic environmental setting, subsistence and settlement pattern, community and sociopolitical organization, ceremonial organization, intercommunity dynamics, and world views of Scioto Hopewell peoples. By taking an encompassing and historical view of Scioto Hopewell life, both its origins and ending are revealed. These detailed cultural and historical reconstructions are strongly anchored empirically in the second half of the book. The data bases document the archaeological and human remains from all 52 Ohio Hopewell ceremonial centers that have been excavated and reported; the intrasite layouts and precise geographic placements of most of these centers as well as the locations of many other, unexplored ones; and the ceremonial functions, meanings, and social role associations of 51 kinds of historic Woodland Native American ceremonial paraphernalia analogous to those used and interred by Ohio Hopewell peoples. The book is also liberally illustrated with photographs and drawings of Scioto Hopewell artwork, ceremonial paraphernalia, sites, and landscapes. The authors share all these data, along with many insights about key, future research topics, with the hope that others will use them to continue to pursue the empirically rich, holistic, and humanized understanding of Ohio Hopewell peoples begun in this book.

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