Ancient Mounds Among More Modern Dead
Settlers Turned Burial Mounds Into Their Own Cemetery In Piketon, Ohio
As we enjoy the spooky season, a look at one of my eerier Mound visits this year — to the Mounds of Mound Cemetery in Piketon, Ohio, near the Scioto River.
There’s not much I can tell you about the earthworks. Little is known of the provenance of these Piketon Mounds — they haven’t seen any formal study. They are assumed to be ancient Adena constructs, and likely Burial Mounds. Later Hopewell involvement is suggested by some sources.
They are impressive in their own way. Mysterious. Somber.
Ephraim George Squier and Edwin Hamilton Davis, noted 19th century surveyors of the Mounds of Ohio and other Midwestern states for the Smithsonian, don’t say much about these mounds here in Piketon in their landmark work Ancient Monuments of the Mississippi Valley.
Squier and Davis instead focus on a curious-sounding “Graded Way” once nearby. Their illustration shows an embanked ramp dug into the hill leading down towards the river, easing the incline of the slope, a feature obliterated by gravel extraction and highway and housing development long ago.
Protected by the cemetery, these four ancient Mounds outlasted the other, seemingly more eye-catching earthworks.
The tallest of these Conical Mounds remaining is 25 feet high. A possible raised earthen platform seems to connect them.