Dig into archaeology at Fort Ancient


Once-a-year chance to get hands-on with Ohio’s prehistoric past

Staff report



Fort Ancient will welcome visitors to Archaeology Day and Artifact identification on Saturday, July 18 from noon to 4 p.m. 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 for the public allows families 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, take exit 36.

Once-a-year chance to get hands-on with Ohio’s prehistoric past

Staff report