Located in Montgomery County, on the south side of Dayton is the Miamisburg Mound State Memorial. This conical mound is the largest conical mound in Ohio at over 65' tall and the 2nd largest conical mound in eastern North America. Is is thought to be part of the Adena Culture in the Early Woodland Period.
The Miamisburg Mound State Memorial is visible from several miles away because it stands atop a 100' high ridge above the Great Miami River.
The Miamisburg Mound is a burial mound, and 877' in circumference at the base and covers approximately 1-1/2 acres. It has been estimated to contain 54,000 cubic yards of earth.
There were once an estimated 10,000 American Indian mounds and earthworks in the central Ohio Valley. today, about 1,000 of those landmarks have survived through private landowners, local and state, and federal agencies dedicated to preserving these ancient ruins.
Many of the mounds that have been saved were of the conical variety and most of those have never been professionally investigated to determine their contents or age. Ones that have been investigated were determined to have been created 2,000 to 2,800 years ago.
It was thought that the mound was built in successive layers over multiple generations. When a leader died, they created a wood hut that contained the body. That hut would then be set ablaze and then covered over with a layer of soil. With each death, the mound grew taller and wider.
Around 400 AD, the people that created these mounds and earthworks, disappeared from Ohio. What happened to them remains a mystery that will probably never be resolved.
On the Miamisburg Mound, steps have been built to the top observation platform so visitors can climb the 116 steps for a wonderful view of the area.
Miamisburg Mound is on Mound Avenue, 1 mile south of exit 44 - SR 725 - and 3 miles west of exit 42 off I-75, in Montgomery County.
Adena Culture: The Early Woodland Period
The Early Woodland Period defines a period of time when these Americans began to plant crops, make pottery, and develop villages. It was also during this time period that they began to build large earthworks and burial mounds. Many of the burial mounds are referred to as conical mounds because of their shape.
Earthworks were resembled walled enclosures or other geometric shapes such as the Great Serpent Mound in southern Ohio.
The common name given to the Ohio Mound Builders is because one of their conical burial mounds was found on Thomas Worthington's Estate, Adena, in Chillicothe.