Monday, December 16, 2013

Hopewell Pipes (1-400 AD)

In 1848, the newly established Smithsonian Institution, chose as its first publication Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley,

an archeological study of the prehistoric indigenous mound builders of North America by Edwin Hamilton Davis,

and Ephraim George Squier.

the result of the first XIXth century "scientific" exploration of North America's heritage,

In the altar mound, No. 8, "Mound City" a treasure trove of pipes was unearthed. Mound City is located along the Ohio River in Pulaski County, Illinois

John Egan and Dr. Dickeson’s Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley
Detail of 'Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley' (1850) by John Egan, showing excavations beneath a mound.

among the artifacts excavated were stone carvings of exceptional artistry,

cf Fig 138. Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley

mica ornaments of powerful significance,

Carved mica hand, Hopewell Mounds

pipe bowls representing human heads with deep scarification,


artfully shaped "platform" pipes,

animals roaming the woods and rivers at that time,

and other fauna...


Fifty years later the excavation of the Adena Mound in Ohio would unearth another extraordinry pipe masterpiece from the earlier native american Adena culture (800 BC - AD 100).

All photos of pipes courtesy Ohio Historical Society