Greater Cincinnati's version of Stonehenge poised to rise from obscurity

WCPOPublished: October 13, 2017
Published: October 13, 2017

I have a confession to make. Despite living in Cincinnati for most of my life, I never visited the prehistoric earthen mounds that grace Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve until this month. Archaeologists around the world compare the 2,000-year-old earthworks, which took 400 years to build and perfectly align with annual summer and winter solstices, to marvels like Stonehenge and Easter Island. “They’re as amazing as anyplace in the world,” Jen Aultman, an archaeologist and World Heritage coordinator for Ohio, said. Yet the pastoral site located just 40 miles from Cincinnati only draws 23,000 to 25,000 visitors a year. It’s a four-mile detour off Interstate 71 that almost all of us forego. That may be about to change. A decade-long effort to place the earthworks in the pantheon of world wonders has Fort Ancient and six other earthworks sites in Ohio poised to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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