June 5, 2014 at 11:27 am

Patton on ‘How the Hopewell Built Their World,’ July 12

Dr. Paul E. Patton ’04, ’07M, Anthropology faculty member at Ohio University, presents “How the ‘Hopewell’ Built Their World: Ancient Land Managers in the Ohio Valley” on Saturday, July 12, at 1 p.m. at Serpent Mound.

Dr. Paul Patton directs the Archaeology Field School.

Dr. Paul Patton directs the Archaeology Field School.

His lecture is part of the 2014 Indigenous Legacies Summer Lecture Series through the Arc of Appalachia Preserve System. Get directions to Serpent Mound, 3850 State Route 73, Peebles, OH.

Managing and controlling the landscape is an important component of almost every human culture. Among the most conspicuous examples of landscape modification found in Eastern North America belong to the Hopewell Cultural era, when native peoples constructed large geometric earthworks and earthen mounds for ceremonial use.

Despite the grand scale of landscape modification at these cultural centers, research results now indicate that many of the people associated with these earthworks were also practicing large-scale management and modification of the habitats surrounding their villages and hamlets in order to increase the benefit gained from their native food and architectural resources.

In this lecture, Patton explores the nature of Middle Woodland subsistence practices with particular attention to data gained from archaeological excavations in the Hocking Valley and the surrounding regions. This lecture considers what long-term effects these prehistoric practices may have had on the forests of southern Ohio, by far the most predominant native ecosystem—then and now.

An Ohio University alum, Patton is Director of the Ohio University Archaeological Field School and is Co-Director of the Appalachia Population History Project. He holds a Master’s of Science in Environmental Studies from Ohio University and a doctorate from the Ohio State University in Anthropology. Paul performed his undergraduate training from Ohio University in Anthropology and Classical Civilizations.

Patton’s current research focuses on archaeobotany and human-environment interrelationships. This summer he is working in collaboration with Wayne National Forest to identify and excavate Woodland Period hamlets in the Hocking Valley to better understand the establishment of these early sedentary communities.

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