Hopewell Culture Definition
culture” is not the name of any tribe of American Indians, although
the people whose art and architecture are encompassed by that name certainly
were ancestors of contemporary American Indians. It is a term
of convenience archaeologists have adopted to refer to groups who lived
in Ohio and surrounding regions during the period from 100 B.C. to A.D.
400 and who made certain kinds of artifacts and built certain kinds
of earthworks. The name is derived from the name of the person
who owned the land on which an especially important archaeological site
was located. The original “Hopewell site” is in Ross
County just west of Chillicothe. It was owned by Mordecai Hopewell
when archaeologists investigated the site in the late 1800s. As
archaeologists began to recognize broad regional patterns in styles
of artifacts and architecture, they defined an archaeological culture
and named it after this site.