NEWARK, Ohio — The Ohio Historical Society, in conjunction with the Newark Earthworks Center at The Ohio State University at Newark and the Great Licking County Convention and Visitors Bureau, will hold the first 2011 open house dates at the Octagon Earthworks in Newark, Ohio, April 17-18, allowing the entire site to be “golf-free” on these days.
In addition, special programs are being offered April 17 from noon to 4 p.m. and April 18 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Guided tours and educational activities will be offered.
Visitors also are encouraged to stop by the Great Circle Museum at the Great Circle Earthworks in neighboring Heath, Ohio, to learn more about the entire Newark Earthworks complex and its creation.
Additional dates to tour the Octagon Earthworks this year have been set for May 31 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Oct. 16 from noon to 4 p.m.
Moundbuilders Country Club operates a golf course on the site and has set aside these days for greater public access. While portions of the Octagon are open every day during daylight hours, the open-house dates allow the public to see the entire earthworks.
In addition to taking a guided tour, visitors also are welcome to tour the earthworks on their own, but are asked to stay off the mounds and golfing greens.
There are no public restroom facilities at the Octagon Earthworks. Admission is free for the open houses. For further details or to schedule a group or school tour, call 740-344-1919 or 800- 600-7178.
The Octagon Earthworks is a part of the Newark Earthworks, a complex that is 2,000 years old and at one time covered approximately four square miles. Built about 2,000 years ago by the Hopewell culture, the Newark Earthworks is recognized as a National Historic Landmark and has been declared Ohio’s official prehistoric monument of the state.
A nomination of the site for inclusion on the World Heritage List is currently being prepared. Scholars recognize it as the largest geometric earthworks ever created. Although much of it has been destroyed by more than a century of urban development, the most significant parts remaining are the Octagon, Great Circle and Wright earthworks.
Together these three earthworks comprise the Newark Earthworks, one of 58 sites administered by the Ohio Historical Society, a nonprofit organization that serves as the state’s partner in preserving and interpreting Ohio’s history, natural history, archaeology and historic places. For more information, visit www.ohiohistory.org/newark.
The Newark Earthworks Center is an interdisciplinary academic center at The Ohio State University which studies, teaches about and promotes appreciation for Ohio earthworks. Among other projects, the NEC provides school tours at the Great Circle and Flint Ridge and programming on public access days.