What is it? Who built it? How old is it?
No one is entirely sure.
Although there are a great number of theories about this ancient animal effigy mound located in Adams County in Southern Ohio .
Based on carbon dating and using the neighboring burial mounds as clues, it's believed that the mound was formed by the Adena Culture (800 BC - 100 AD), although with the lack of artifacts with which to identify for certain, it has also been credited to builders from the Fort Ancient Culture (1000 - 1650 AD). Theories, as they do, sometimes get out of control and there are some people who claim aliens are the ones who built the mound... yep.
Why it was built is still unclear, but there are plenty of theories on that as well.
Perhaps it was to aid in moving those from death to the next world. It could have been a site of ritual or sacred ceremonies.
The serpent shape is very symbolic representing death and rebirth - consider the shedding of the skin, the venom while deadly is also used in the antivenom, it has been called both the devil and a healer - it is the ultimate balance .
Both the head and the tail of the serpent overlook the steep ravine to the west, the head aligning with the sunset of the Sumer Solstice.
In the serpent's mouth is thought to be an egg, although some think it may be an eye or perhaps the sun.
I like to imagine myself there thousands of years ago, all the trees would be gone, the view from on top of the cliff where the serpent lies would be a stunning overview of the surrounding areas, what would I see, what would I find important, how would I show my thanks to the Gods/Goddesses/Universe?
When walking this sacred area a feeling of wonder fills the air. A place that is bigger than your current world, to time travel and go beyond yourself, to walk in meditation pondering that which we can not know.
This site is well worth the visit.
Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.