Adena Pipe fascinates more than 100 years after its discovery
All that’s left of a once-sacred burial ground where three dozen human remains and the Adena Pipe — the state’s official artifact — were discovered more than 100 years ago is a slight rise in a street in a subdivision just north of Chillicothe.
While the scene is oh-so-ordinary now, the 26-foot-tall burial mound that sat on former Ohio Gov. Thomas Worthington’s property was once a marvel.
The mound, pipe and people who made them all bear the same name as the property they were found on — Adena, Hebrew for “delightful place.”'
Mills described the Adena Pipe as “one of the most wonderful pieces of art taken from the mounds of Ohio,” and the “the highest art of prehistoric culture,” according to an article that Lepper wrote for the society.
“It’s the earliest representation of a human that we have in Ohio,” Lepper said.
The pipe is about 8 inches tall, weighs a pound and is loaded with striking details, including its hair, headdress, ear spools, and loin cloth adorned with serpents and a feather bustle.
It signifies that the people who made up this ancient culture “were really quite capable of artistic achievements,” said Richard Yerkes, an Ohio State University anthropologist.
“Some people have wondered, is it an accurate depiction of an actual person.”
With its elongated torso and short legs, some researchers say it could have been made in the image of a dwarf. Others say it represents a shaman with bent legs.
“The history of Ohio doesn’t start with the colonial period,” Yerkes said. “This was a really remarkable place thousands and thousands of years ago.”
Edited by seeder, 27 August 2013 - 10:02 PM.