Ohio’s Fort Ancient Earthwork the Focus of Archaeology Lecture

Wright State’s Robert Riordan to speak at The College of Wooster on Oct. 19

05 October, 2015 by John Finn

WOOSTER, Ohio – Robert Riordan, an archaeologist and a professor of anthropology at Wright State University, will present “The New Past of the Fort Ancient Earthwork,” on Monday, Oct. 19, at The College of Wooster. The lecture, which is free and open to the public, begins at 7:30 p.m. in Lean Lecture Room of Wishart Hall (303 E. University St.). A reception with beverages and snacks will follow the presentation in the foyer outside of the lecture room.

Fort Ancient is located in southwestern Ohio, and is the largest hilltop earthwork constructed by people of the Hopewell culture (AD 1-400). Archaeologists have intermittently conducted excavations at the site since the 1880s. In 2005, remote sensing methods discovered a previously unknown circular structure in the North Fort that is nearly 60 meters in diameter. Dubbed “the Moorehead Circle,” it has been under investigation by the Wright State University-sponsored field school archaeological project since 2006. It is composed of concentric rings of standing wooden posts, a formal paved entranceway, a series of sand and gravel-filled trenches, and a central ceremonial complex that included a large structure adjacent to a four-meter diameter pit of red soil.

Riordan earned his undergraduate degree at Colgate University and his Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. He has spent several decades investigating the earthwork enclosures of the Hopewell culture in southern Ohio, having conducted major excavation programs at the Pollock Works in Greene County and the Moorehead Circle ceremonial complex inside the Fort Ancient earthwork.

Riordan’s lecture is sponsored by the Archaeology Student Colloquium, the Program in Archaeology, the local Society of the Archaeological Institute of America, the Cultural Events Committee, and the local chapter of Lambda Alpha National Honorary Society in Anthropology. Additional information is available by phone (330-263-2474) or e-mail.