Highbank Park Works

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Highbank Park Works
Highbank Park Works from crossing.jpg
Trees grow atop the works
Highbank Park Works is located in Ohio
Highbank Park Works
Highbank Park Works is located in the United States
Highbank Park Works
Nearest cityDelaware, Ohio
Coordinates40°8′27.6″N 83°1′51.6″W / 40.141000°N 83.031000°W / 40.141000; -83.031000Coordinates: 40°8′27.6″N 83°1′51.6″W / 40.141000°N 83.031000°W / 40.141000; -83.031000
Area13 acres (5.3 ha)
NRHP reference #74001466[1]
Added to NRHPFebruary 15, 1974

The Highbank Park Works (also known as the Orange Township Works) is a complex of earthworks and a potential archaeological site located within Highbanks Metro Park[2] in the central part of the U.S. state of Ohio. The park is in southernmost Delaware County on the east bank of the Olentangy River. The site is a semi-elliptical embankment, consisting of four sections, each 3 feet (0.91 m) high, and bordered by a shallow ditch. Two ravines and a 100 foot high shale bluff surround the earthworks. It is thought to have been constructed sometime between 800 and 1300 CE by members of the Cole culture.[3] The earthworks have seen little disturbance since the first white settlement of the region; agriculture has never been practiced on their vicinity, and no significant excavation has ever been conducted at the site. One small excavation and field survey, conducted in 1951, yielded a few pieces of pottery and flakes of flint from a small midden.[4] Another excavation was conducted in 2011 that focused mainly on site usage and constructing a timeline for the mounds. [5]

Squire and Davis engraving of the embankment

The Highbank Park Works is one of several wall-and-ditch earthworks in central Ohio. Unlike Highbank, most of these complexes are known to be the work of people of the Hopewell tradition; however, the similarity between the works of the Hopewell and Cole peoples has led archaeologists to propose that the Cole were descended from the Hopewell.[4] New research on the Cole culture suggests this was not a separate peoples, but in fact part of the larger Hopewell group.

Also located in Highbank Park are two subconical Adena era mounds. These two mounds are known as the Highbanks Park Mound I (also known as the Muma Mound) and Highbanks Park Mound II (also known as the Orchard Mound or the Selvey Mound). The two mounds are not located within the embankment, but are about 0.5 and 1 mile away.[3]

In 1974, the Highbank Park Works were listed on the National Register of Historic Places because of their archaeological significance.[1] Three other Delaware County archaeological sites are listed on the Register: the Ufferman Site, the site of a former Cole village;[6] the Highbanks Park Mounds,[1] and the Adena Spruce Run Earthworks.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ "Metro Parks-Central Ohio Park System-Highbanks". Retrieved 2010-05-19.
  3. ^ a b Susan L. Woodward and Jerry N. McDonald (2002). Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley. McDonald and Woodward Publishing. pp. 140–142. ISBN 0-939923-72-6.CS1 maint: Uses authors parameter (link)
  4. ^ a b Owen, Lorrie K., ed. Dictionary of Ohio Historic Places. Vol. 1. St. Clair Shores: Somerset, 1999, 326.
  5. ^ Anastasia, Wallace, (2012). Determining Site Usage of the Orange Township Earthworks in Highbanks Metropark, Delaware, Ohio: Chert and Lithic Analysis (Thesis). The College of Wooster.
  6. ^ Ufferman Site, Ohio Historical Society, 2007. Accessed 2010-05-21.
  7. ^ Spruce Run Earthworks, Ohio Historical Society, 2007. Accessed 2010-05-21.