Walk with nature, dig into archaeology

Special activities at Fort Ancient

News Journal

Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve will welcome visitors to the annual Fort Ancient Nature Hike from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, July 9. This annual event is hosted three times a year to give visitors a true view of the natural environment at Fort Ancient.

The Nature Hike at Fort Ancient gives the guest a wonderful snapshot of what is in our own back yards and in the woods around us. Dave Woehr, an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist, and a volunteer at Fort Ancient, will lead the two-hour hiking trail. Guests may look under the rocks or decomposed wood to see what types of bugs are lurking below the surface. A discussion of the native plants and vegetation will enlighten visitors and is definitely an educational experience.

There are also a variety of other activities guests can experience. Children can experience what life could have been like for some of the Miami Valley’s earliest inhabitants, through a variety of interactives in the classroom. Guests will be able to touch and examine a variety of tools made of bone and stone in the classroom, or maybe play a large raw hide drum or deer hoof rattles.

Immediately outside the museum is a wonderful prehistoric garden of crops maintained by the Master Gardeners of Warren County. The interesting aspect of this garden is that it consists of crops that were grown in the Ohio Valley 2,000 and 1,000 years ago. Crops that are considered weeds today were part of the prehistoric diet including maygrass, amaranth, knotweed, little barley, and jerusalem artichoke. In addition, corn, beans and squash are also grown.

Admission to the Nature Hike at Fort Ancient is included with regular admission; free for members.

Dig in

On Saturday, July 16 from noon to 4 p.m., Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve will welcome visitors to Archaeology Day and Artifact/FossilIdentification. This annual event is the one day each year that visitors can take a guided tour of the active excavation at Moorehead Circle, as well as get a chance to watch an archaeological excavation at Fort Ancient.

“Archaeology Day gives visitors a unique opportunity to explore the history and culture of southern Ohio,” said Jack Blosser, Site Manager at Fort Ancient. “Not only can they get a close-up look at the ongoing excavation at Moorehead Circle, but guests can learn about the rich prehistoric past of Warren County.”

Experiencing what life could have been like for some of the Miami Valley’s earliest inhabitants, visitors will also be able to use an atlatl to throw a spear, participate in a rousing game of double ball, dress up in 18th century regalia, and touch an artifact that is 5,000 years old.

In addition, visitors are encouraged to bring their own finds in to the museum, as experts will be on hand from 1-3 p.m. to identify prehistoric and geologic items. The artifact and fossil Identification will begin at 12Noon and end at 3:30PM. This segment will allow the public to learn about the stone relics and fossils that may have been in the family for generations.

The guided tours at the Moorehead Circle excavation, where the Dayton Society of Natural History Field School is conducting the annual dig, will be led by Dr. Robert Riordan. Since 2006, Dr. Riordan has led students each summer in excavating this circular ceremonial space. First discovered in 2005, the area features evidence of dozens of postholes that indicate a 200-foot diameter ceremonial site, and ongoing excavations indicate that the elaborate construction of concentric circles, as well as the surrounding earthworks, were aligned to the summer solstice sunrise.

Admission to Archaeology Day activities is included with regular admission; free for members.

For additional information, call 513-932-4421 or 800-283-8904. Fort Ancient is located in Warren County at 6123 St. Rt. 350, Oregonia. From Interstate 71, exit at #36.

Special activities at Fort Ancient

News Journal

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