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The Serpent Mound in Ohio and Questions without Answers

What is the Serpent Mound – The Meteorite that fell on Earth 256 million years ago – What is an effigy mound – Native American Cultures in the area – Adena and Fort Ancient Culture – Astronomical alignments of the Serpent Mound – Anunnaki connection – A place of power and sacred grounds

The Great Serpent Mound is an internationally known Historic Landmark, built by Native Americans, located near Peebles, Ohio. This 1,348 ft. long and three feet high prehistoric effigy mound resembles the shape of a giant snake. It is the largest surviving effigy mound in the world and is a part of the UNESCO heritage, together with the Pyramids of Egypt, Stonehenge, the Great Wall of China, Pompeii and others.

In spite of its worldwide significance, many people would probably see the Serpent Mound simply as a hill in the shape of a snake. But for those who like to watch Ancient Aliens (like us! Ha! :)), this place is a big deal and absolutely lies in the same category as the most important monuments of the ancient past…

Entire Serpent Mound
The Serpent Mound/photo by Eric Ewing/CC BY-SA 3.0
Serpent Mound Aerial
Aerial View of the Serpent Mound/photo by Timothy A. Price and Nichole I./CC BY 2.5

Meteorite or Not?

The story of this sacred for Native Americans place starts with a meteorite that fell here 256 million years ago. It created a large crater more than 9 miles across! About 7 cubic miles of rock was smashed! With time, erosion leveled the surface to what we see today, but we can still recreate the impact by the rock layers.

The ancient native people of course couldn’t have known about this meteorite. For them the crater would be just a part of the natural landscape. Somehow, even without this knowledge, the area on the site of the impact crater became holy for the ancient Native Americans. Why is that? Was it a hotspot for the UFO activity due to the fact that the area was rich in iridium? Iridium is extremely rare on Earth, but common in meteorites, and it is widely used for technology. Or was it something else?

In fact, I found an interesting observation when reading about the crater. The researchers say that the crater doesn’t look much like the other known impact craters (such as the Meteor Crater in Arizona, for example), but say the erosion might have erased many of the surface features. I guess this fact was interesting enough to deserve a mention, but it does pose even more questions without answers…  

The Serpent Mound
The Serpent Mound

Native American Cultures in the Area

The first evidence of human activity started here around 13,000 BCE. We know next to nothing about these Paleo-Indians, as they were called. We know a little bit more about the Adena Culture, who lived here about 300 BCE. We know that the place was definitely sacred to them, since they built several burial grounds here. The question is why? They couldn’t have known about the meteorite impact.

Seasons and centuries changed, and so did the Native Ohioans. Much later, about 1000 CE, the area of the Ohio River Valley was primarily occupied by Fort Ancient Culture up until the European invasion.

One of these two cultures, Adena and Fort Ancient, is credited with the building of the Serpent Mound. But the researchers do not know to this day, exactly which one it was. Radiocarbon research points at the two cultures being very active in the area and each of them had their own motives to create this historic monument and the evidence of doing so either over 2000 years ago, or about 900.

The Serpent Mound
The coils of the Serpent and a tower which allows to see it from above (Native Americans didn’t have this luxury!)

What is an Effigy Mound

The Adena Culture could be a candidate for creating the Serpent Mound, because they made several burial mounds in the area. Several are a part of the museum and you can see them with your own eyes. However, being an effigy mound, the Serpent Mound differs a lot from the traditional burial mounds of the Native Americans.

Effigy mounds have no burials. They are strictly “geoglyph” type mounds, created for worshipping and/or other purposes unknown to us. I mention “other purposes” for a reason: just like the famous Nazca geoglyphs, you can only appreciate these types of mounds from above. The Native Americans never saw their creation in its entirety. They only worshipped and danced around the mound, on the ground. So why would they build it in the way that they cannot even enjoy it themselves? Whose eyes was their creation meant for?

The Head of the Serpent Mound
The head of the Serpent

The Serpent God

The Fort Ancient Culture is another candidate for building the Serpent Mound. Of course, the radiocarbon testing of the evidence, found in the area, suggest the mound can be 900 years old. As I already mentioned in several posts, like Stonehenge, for example, it doesn’t really prove the age of the object. It only proves that there were settlements there at the time. The object itself might have been there for decades before. It could have just as easily been built by Adena (or even earlier!)

The more compelling evidence, in my opinion, is the shape of the mound. Even though the Fort Ancient Culture was not really known for their mound building, some archeologists suggest they might be related to the Mississippian Culture, who were notorious for building such structures. Also, it was exactly at this time period (ca 1000 CE), when the Plumed Serpent God was the thing in most of the American and Mesoamerican cultures, including Mississippians, Maya, Aztec….

It cannot be a coincidence that this god (or spirit) was worshipped practically everywhere and united all these nations in their beliefs. Even though the Serpent Mound might be not as impressive as, let’s say, the Egyptian Pyramids, it still took a great deal of effort to construct, basket by basket. There must have been a really compelling reason to do so!

The Hopewell Airburst Event

Yes, there was another event much later that could inspire later cultures into building the effigy mound. It is called the Hopewell Airburst Event and happened about 252 to 383 CE. The cosmic airburst event occurs when a comet comes so close to the Earth that some parts of its body (fragments, dust, etc.) come in contact with the Earth’s atmosphere and explode, causing shockwaves and sometimes meteorites. Apparently, the event was so drastic that it caused the decline of Hopewell culture.

Interestingly, the Serpent Mound museum doesn’t mention this event at all. However, if it was behind the creation of the Serpent Mound, it was definitely created by the Fort Ancient Culture: the event happened after Adena was gone. The story of the event might have passed from generation to generation through songs and legends.

So, we have a beautiful explanation here, an event, so incredible for the ancient people, that it could definitely be a reason for worshipping. However, how do the Adena burial grounds fit into this picture? The area was sacred to them BEFORE the Hopewell Airburst Event. Why?

The Tail of the Serpent Mound
The tail of the Serpent is a spiral

Astronomical Alignment of the Serpent Mound

Of course, building a giant geoglyph is not quite enough. Everything, literally every part of this snake has significance and points at a specific astronomical event.

Astronomical Alignments of the Serpent Mound

The head of the Serpent is lined up to the point of the sunset on the Summer Solstice. The three coils are pointed respectively at Summer Solstice sunrise, Equinox sunrise and Winter Solstice sunrise. They also align with certain moonrises! The tail of the snake coils three times and resembles a spiral (ah, these spirals!!). All these features are no surprise if you look at the other civilizations that worshipped the Serpent. They all had extended symbolism and everything had to be astronomically alighned.

The Summer Solstice Sunset Platform
The platform in from of the Serpent’s head that points to the Summer Solstice sunset

The Missing Coil

There is an interesting detail that makes the Serpent Mound even more mysterious. In 2012, Dr. Jarrod Burks from Ohio Valley Archaeology conducted a magnetic gradient survey of the mound. This survey detects changes in the magnetic property of soil revealing any ground disturbances in the past.

The most exciting discovery was a large, U-shaped feature near the neck of the snake. Apparently, there was originally another coil that was later removed. Why was it done? I wonder if anyone calculated what this missing coil was aligned with… Interestingly, if you draw a straight line from the tail through the neck of the Serpent (just where the missing coil is located), it points to true north. It is not quite precise though, so one cannot be certain. Who knows? I hope someone finds the answer one day.

The Missing Coil
Here would be the missing coil

Anunnaki in the New World

Be it Anasazi, Maya, Inca, or pretty much any American, Mesoamerican or South American civilization, a spiral was always a very powerful symbol, any place of spiritual significance would be aligned astronomically and the Great Feathered (or Plumed) Serpent was the god of choice. The Serpent Mound is not an exception. I will say even more: for the ancient Native Americans, the Great Serpent was not only the main god, but he was also the Lord of the World Below.

I frequently suggested that some members of the infamous Sumerian Anunnaki family might have moved to the New World after the fall of the Sumerian Civilization. The Serpent symbolism added to the “Lord of the World Below” clearly points to the Enki family line. I think these parallels are important: they connect so many dots in the history of the world and show that the old gods of the past were not a figment of ancient people’s imagination, but real entities who traveled the planet.

Serpent Mound
The Serpent Mound/photo by Pollinator/CC BY-SA 3.0

A Sacred Place with Strong Energy

There is a strong energy that undoubtedly surrounds the Serpent Mound and attracts quite interesting people. One of the visitors, Tony, shared with us stories about multiple abductions, with incredible detail! Another young man kept walking barefoot in silence, obviously performing some kind of a ritual… All these people come here to a place of their power!

Map of the Serpent Mound
The map of the Serpent Mound

But of course, the Serpent Mound is still a place of great significance to the modern Native American Cultures. Ben Barnes, Second Chief of the Shawnee Tribe, says: “Serpent Mound was purposefully built for a special, sacred purpose. I should think that anyone that views the Serpent will realize its sacredness and treat this place as they would any cathedral, synagogue or mosque. When we see this place, this is our holy ground.”

See, after learning about the Serpent Mound, we realize that there is more to it that meets the eye. Even though there seems to be a reasonable explanation to its existence and purpose, there are still many questions without answers and “holes” in the narrative. Until we can answer the questions and fill in these “holes”, we will still regard this place as “mysterious”.

Information about visiting the Serpent Mound, hours and rates.

And what do you think about the Serpent Mound? Have you been there? Do you think it was inspired by a meteorite impact? Do you think it had something to do with the ancient alien gods? Who, in your opinion built it, Adena or Fort Ancient Culture? Why did they build it? Share in the comments!

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