Description of the Site

“The Hopewell, known for their engineering expertise, built these walls and many other features both within the enclosure and on the steep valleys that surround the site: conical and crescent-shaped mounds, limestone pavements and circles, and many subsurface elements that are currently coming to light.”

Excerpt from the Fort Ancient Website

360° Interactive Photos

We took these 360° photos on our trip in August 2018. You can click/tap and drag to change the view. Use the Next & Previous arrows to change viewpoints.

[ipanorama slug=”fort-ancient” width=”100%” height=”450px”]


Fort Ancient was the best opening we could have asked for at the start of our travels visiting ancient North American sites. We started out at the visitors center where the staff was beyond friendly and helpful and they were incredibly knowledgeable. Most of the material we read online prior to our visit indicated that Fort Ancient was a Late Woodland or Mississippian culture. The staff was quick to correct that more recent discoveries are dating the site back to the Middle Woodland period. There is a resident archeologist on site who works year around doing research. The visitors center exhibits are well crafted and offered a wealth of information that all ages would find enjoyable.

The above image from

Fort Ancient has established a wonderful ongoing relationship with the local Boy Scouts of America troops. The BSA Troops do regular service projects at Fort Ancient and in return, they have exclusive access to use the grounds for their campouts. This has led to the creation of some really cool projects including a family housing community site reconstruction with period accurate stick and straw housing constructs. Several Eagle Projects have been done by BSA Troop members. Our favorite was the Atlatl practice sets build and donated to Fort Ancient. They had them located outside the front of the visitors center and they have an open field available to try them out. I got a video of Scott trying it out (we both did but this throw was by far the best after much practice and failure).

Fort Ancient truly is the model by which every preserved ancient site should hold itself to. It is well preserved, well cared for, and provides a wealth of information in its exhibits, its staff, and the reconstructions of the original site. The information and activities appeal to the young and old alike and the caretakers of Fort Ancient have established a process and a path by which they can continue to keep the site open to the public for years to come.

It was at Fort Ancient that we learned that the Fort Ancient, Newark Earthworks, and Mound City archeological sites as a whole are in line for a World Heritage Site status with the final steps already in the works. Once it receives this status additional funding, awareness, and opportunities will be available to Fort Ancient and we only expect the site to get better.

We at Mound Rovers are looking forward to multiple return visits over the coming years and eagerly await what a promising future is in store for Fort Ancient.

Additional Resources


Worth Visiting
Visitors Center
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Josh Willis
Writer & Documentarian I'm a Software Engineer but I've had a love for ancient world history going back to a high school coach who made history come alive in every class. In college, I took history electives every chance I could. I have extensive experience working with data processing and digital imaging. There is a history in the ground and I have become obsessed with telling it!


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