Talk:Hopewell tradition

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why "Hopewell?"[edit]

Who or what or where was Hopewell? Inquiring minds want to know. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:16, 23 January 2009 (UTC)

If you actualy read the article you'd know. IKnstead of inquiring, try reading.Heironymous Rowe (talk) 17:10, 24 January 2009 (UTC)

Captain M. C. Hopewell's farm in Ross County, Ohio near the town of Chillicothe contained more than 30 mounds inside a rectangle earthwork. Warren K Moorehead, excavated several Ohio mounds to contribute artifacts for an anthropological exhibit at the Chicago world's fair of 1893. The most productive source of artifacts came from the mounds excavated on Capt. Hopewells farm. Later when archaeologist were identifying the different traditions of the mound builders they used Hopewell Tradition as a label of artifacts and sites that shared traits from the Hopewell Mound Group.Mark V. Haas (talk) 20:20, 11 June 2010 (UTC) MOUND BUILDERS OF ANCIENT AMERICA By Robert Silverberg 970.43 Sil page 266 [1]

Is it possible for a section explaining the origin of the term "Hopewell Tradition" be created or perhaps the origin detailed in the intro?ViniTheHat (talk) 18:20, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

Monoculture vs. trade network[edit]

"The Hopewell tradition was not a single cultural group or society; rather, it was an exchange system for goods and information that connected distinct local populations. The complex trade network that defined this tradition has been referred to as the Hopewell Interaction Sphere." - Images of the Past, page 275 (Price & Feinman) - Fuzzform (talk) 19:52, 12 May 2008 (UTC)


I propose that this article be renamed "Hopewell tradition", based on the above information. Fuzzform (talk) 19:53, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Areas, Sites, Dates, etc.[edit]

Following information was adapted from Price & Feinman, Images of the Past, pages 274-277 (see citation in article). Info should be incorporated into article once rename is decided.

  • Price & Feinman give the Hopewell tradition's dates as 100 B.C. - 400 A.D. (p. 274)
  • Seriation/typology (similarities in style, motifs, etc.) provides evidence of trade routes


  • Hopewell tradition first appeared in Illinois, around 100 B.C.
  • Spread as far as Wisconsin, Louisiana, New York
  • Core was in Midwest (specifically, the Scioto River Valley in south-central Ohio)
  • Demise of Hopewell tradition thought to be due to disruption of trade routes (due to increasing competition for resources, etc.)


  • Most sites are associated with burial mounds, but not all.
  • Some are only effigy (earthwork) sites - earthen representations of humans or animals. Note that the "effigy" article should mention this type of effigy.
    • E.g. Serpent Mound of the Adena culture (which is closely associated with the Hopewell tradition).
    • Note that Earthworks (archaeology) does not cross-link to any pages that have to do with earthen effigies, such as the one listed above and the Hopewell tradition article.
  • Social structure was based on achievements, rather than inherited ranks. This information is inferred from burial practices (e.g. type/quality and quantity of burial items), remains of structures, etc.
  • Burial items (found in mounds) include: unsmelted copper, earspools, gorgets (circular ornaments, flat or convex on one side and concave on the other, usually worn on chest), beads, pendants, panpipes (wind instruments), mica sculptures/effigies (see picture), various tools, pottery, shells, animal teeth, smoking pipes, etc.
  • Carved stone smoking pipes ("platform pipes") are thought to have been used to mediate peaceful interactions over long distances. Most pipes were in the form of "ritual weapons", e.g. atlatls (spearthrowers). According to Robert L. Hall (emeritus professor at University of Illinois, Chicago), these pipes may have provided a situation where participants were "fighting with words" (so-called "peace pipe diplomacy"), or they may have been actual ritual weapons.
  • Many sites were excavated before modern archaeological techniques (i.e. before 1900), leading to poor records and destruction of artifacts, ecofacts, etc.
  • Sites in river valleys were inhabited year-round.


  • Ross County, Ohio
    • 40 mounds across 45 ha (110 acres)
    • Most are small, but one is 9 m (30 ft) high, 152 m (500 ft) long, 55 m (180 ft) wide, and contained more than 250 burials
  • Mound City, Ohio
    • 24 mounds across 5.2 ha (13 acres)

Fuzzform (talk) 21:32, 12 May 2008 (UTC)

Working on a map[edit]

A sample of what I have so far.

I recently made a map for the Mississippian culture period, and thought since I already had a blank map, I could just add the Hopewell Interaction spere over it and make one for here too. And then as I began to work on it, I thought, why don't I add the associated local versions of Hopewell over the main image. Swift Creek, Crab Orchard( I think they were hopewell, in southern Illinois?), Marksville, etc. Only it's hard to find a good graphic of each of the individual local expressions. I don't want ot add it till I get it at least close to accurate. I'll post my progress here as an example. So if anyone who has what I need, or could point me in the right direction, leave me a not either here or on my talk page, preferably my talk, don't know when I'll get a chance tocheck back on this here.Heironymous Rowe (talk) 07:35, 11 September 2008 (UTC)

  • I've nade a few changes to the map, adding Hopewell expressions in the Great Lakes area, into Canada, as requested by several people. I assumed there had to be some there as the maps I've seen show the overall Hopewell Sphere of influence spreading that way, but I guess all we get here in the States are USA-ocentric books, lol. With prompts and specific names from several people, I was able to find a few more. If there are any more I still don't have, please let me know. If the shapes are off for the different expressions, and you have a map, please let me know, I googled for quit a while, and couldn't find any, just vague written descriptions and mentions of sites, but no graphic representations I could use, so it's just guesstimation on my part.Heironymous Rowe (talk) 17:24, 15 September 2008 (UTC)

Complete rewrite[edit]

I just completely re-wrote large sections of this page. I added citations( there was a "this page needs citations tag" from quit a while back), maps, created a section about Hopewell art, and created a section for the various local expressions of the Hopewell tradition. I'm not sure if this page started out coherent, but as I was looking thru it lately, it was anything but. I think some of the local expressions could use some more work, as could the "where did they come from" and the "where did they go" sections. I also removed references to the Celts, Hopi, and a few other things that didn't really seem to have anything to do the the Hopewell tradition.Heironymous Rowe (talk) 04:51, 12 September 2008 (UTC)

  • I added a section on social hierarchy, more hopewell cultures, new pic. I also combined hopewell exhange network into this one as it's so small, orphaned, and goes almost nowhere, gonna redirect it here.Heironymous Rowe (talk) 08:39, 12 September 2008 (UTC)
The article was recently peer-reviewed. Here was a suggestion list.
  • Not sure the succession box belongs at the top of the article, maybe move to the bottom.
  • Images need captions and if the captions are sentence fragments, they should not have a full stop.
  • Citations should be placed per WP:CITE i.e. immediately after punctuation if possible.
  • Don't think you really need to link material.
  • I think you could reduce the large numbers of sections by merging.
  • End of the "Politics and heirarchy" section has a newline and a period.
  • Avoid squashing text between images per WP:MOS#Images.
  • Last few sentences of the Mounds section is unreferenced.
  • "Culture" or "culture" in the headings.
  • For ranges of numbers, use the en-dash, not the hyphen, per WP:DASH.
  • References like you have in this article can be split so you have a "References" hdg at the same level you currently have, then a "General" hdg for those ones at the end, and a "Specific" for the web cited ones.

The Rambling Man (talk) 15:13, 18 September 2008 (UTC) I've went through and implemented almost all of them. Except for the "large number of section". Heironymous Rowe (talk) 17:57, 3 October 2008 (UTC)

Cannabis residues in pipes[edit]

This is interesting:

The quote in italics below (emphasis added) is from the book.

I guess it's official, the Native Americans were potheads
By writch on December 10, 2008 10:14 AM | No Comments | No TrackBacks
From A History of Hemp, by Robert A. Nelson, I got some amazing facts:
In his study of Prehistoric Textile Art of Eastern United States (1891), Smithsonian Institute ethnologist W. H. Holmes showed that the ancient Mound-Builders utilized cannabis hemp. Hundreds of clay pipes, some containing cannabis residues and wrapped in hemp cloth, were found in the so-called Death Mask Mound of the Hopewell Mound Builders who lived circa 400 BC in modern Ohio. At one site in Morgan County, Tennessee, Holmes recovered large pieces of hemp fabric ...

Book quote from A History of Hemp is from here:

The original source of the info is from Prehistoric Textile Art of Eastern United States (1891). The text of the whole 1891 book is available here:

Prehistoric Textile Art of Eastern United States. Thirteenth Annual Report of the Bureau of American Ethnology to the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution. 1891-1892.

It is found in several places on the web. See this Google search:

Here is the searchable Google book location:

I used Google to look around a little in the book to try to find the exact source of the info. No luck so far. Cannabis, marijuana and marihuana are not found in the book via Google search. I found the words hemp and pipe, though not on the same page. There is a lot of discussion about pipes, and a lot about hemp fabric. I did not find Death Mask Mound via the Google search form for that book.

I did find cannabis once though by searching the text version here:

It comes up there as:

"This fiber has been identified as that of the _Cannabis sativa_, or wild hemp. Two of the skeins are shown in plate V."

--Timeshifter (talk) 11:10, 25 December 2008 (UTC)

I checked the Guntenberg version as well. I think we can put this one to rest - unless some-one with a paper copy of Holmes gives us a page reference. It looks like the author quoting Holmes was either using another source or extrapolated a bit. Kdammers (talk) 07:13, 26 December 2008 (UTC)
whew. Cannibis is old world; cocaine is new world. Cannibis in pre-contact new world would be every bit as odd as the alleged Egyptian mummy with cocaine in its gauze. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:15, 23 January 2009 (UTC)
Over time, that kind of thinking is largely seen as wrong. People, plants, and animals travel quite a bit. A single bird, for example, can move seeds around for thousands of miles. Now imagine a large flock of birds. This outdated idea that plants are confined to certain areas is almost always shown to be in error. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Qannabis Queen (talkcontribs) 22:55, 30 May 2016 (UTC)

Armstrong culture[edit]

I've split off an article about this regional variation that has been recently added to this article. All future material concerning this culture should be added to the new article, with only a short description left here. This new article should only have information pertaining to the Armstrong culture, not cultures a hundred or more miles away or 500 to a 1000 years later. I have established dating and citation styles for the new article, so lets please stick to them. Happy editing and regards, Heiro 00:28, 21 February 2011 (UTC)

Hopewell culture?[edit]

The opening of the article states that the Hopewell tradition is "also incorrectly called the "Hopewell culture,"" but the phrase is then used profusely in the article. This idiotic contradiction needs to be fixed. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:59, 29 September 2011 (UTC)

Actually, I looked through the article and "profusely" seems to be one instance of referring to all of the various Hopewell cultures as one monolithic "Hopewell culture", which I have fixed. Hopewell is thought to be a variety of local expressions or cultures, connected through trade networks. Referring to each of these local expressions as a "culture", is correct, but referring to them as a combined monolithic culture is not. Hope this helps. Heiro 16:11, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Couture Complex[edit]

The Couture Complex as mentioned on the map is not brought up in the rest of the article. That's probably because it's not really considered an actual complex (to my knowledge). It was an attempt to make a complex where there was none. At the very least, I can find no information on it, and there are no links to it in the sources cited. Discuss? In the meantime I'll keep searching for information. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Junanjpu (talkcontribs) 19:43, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

A section should be started for it, it just never was. I dont have time to do that right now, but here is a few sources I got just by doing a quick google search.
There should be enough here to put together a section if not a whole article. Anyone feel up to it? If no, I'll get back to it sometime when I'm not swamped IRL.Heiro 20:31, 1 February 2012 (UTC)

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Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:Hopewell tradition/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

This page is inconsistent and needs much more accurate work. The references are primarily limited to non-academic webpages with only partial information and oppinion over fact. The one source quoted repeated does not show up in the references (Dancey year?). There is no consistent narrative, and it is at times self contradictory. The text seems to be based on an introductory text (Price and Feinman) with minimal research. It does not reflect current understanding. It is a reasonable start, but for such an important topic it is woefully inadequate. Additionally, the related cultures table leaves out the Late Woodland period that comes between the Middle Woodland Hopewell and the Late Prehistoric Fort Ancient. Just because we don't know much about the period AD 500-1000 doesn't mean we can skip it.

Last edited at 15:43, 1 January 2009 (UTC). Substituted at 18:15, 29 April 2016 (UTC)

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Ref needed[edit]

Early in the article there is a quotation attributed to Dancey, but no related soruce. Kdammers (talk) 01:54, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

theory of flourishing[edit]

A theory of why Hoewell culture 'suddenly exploded' has been proposed" Kdammers (talk) 01:57, 19 June 2017 (UTC)

  1. ^ MOUND BUILDERS OF ANCIENT AMERICA By Robert Silverberg 970.43 Sil page 266