Jul 6, 2015

Great Serpent Mound Damaged By Vandalism Over Fourth Of July Weekend

English: Serpent mound - a Native American bur...
Serpent mound - a Native American burial ground. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Great Serpent Mound, located in Adams County, Ohio, USA, is one of the world's most unusual effigy mounds.  In length, the Serpent Mound is 1,348 feet long, but only 3 feet in height.  Shaped like a snake with a curled tail, the Serpent Mound is a U.S. National Historic Landmark.  It is also on the U.S. National Register of Historical Places.

The Serpent Mound is one of three burial mounds located in the Adams County, Ohio park.  The identity of the builders who built the Serpent Mound remains a topic of some debate.  However, scholars generally attribute its construction to one of three ancient cultures that resided in the area:  the Adena culture, the Hopewell culture, or the Fort Ancient culture.

Tire track damage on the Serpent Mound (photo by Colin Ryan)

Sadly, over this Fourth of July weekend, the Serpent Mound was damaged by vandalism.   According to a local news report, the damage occurred sometime between the hours of 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, July 4 and 8:45 a.m. on Sunday, July 5.

Someone drove a vehicle, possibly a truck, onto the mound, as if "joy-riding," according to the park manager.  The manager added that there was no permanent damage to the site, and officials are hopeful they will apprehend the vandal(s) thanks to security cameras recently installed in the park.

Editor's Note:  This story is a reminder that we should not take ancient heritage sites for granted.  In fact, they are under assault as never before.  Recently, we have watched as members of the Islamic State destroy priceless, ancient artifacts at sites like Palmyra, in Iraq, and elsewhere.  Here, we have an outrageous act of vandalism defacing yet another sacred site, thankfully not permanently.  Steps must be taken to ensure that sites like these are protected to the best of our ability, and that they are preserved for all of humanity.

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