Moorehead Circle Reveals New Secrets

Fort Ancient CERHAS image
Recreation of the Fort Ancient complex.

The ceremonial life of Native American civilizations before the arrival of Europeans was far more complicated than the simplistic notion of powwows and dreamcatchers as presented by countless Hollywood movies. The Moorehead Circle, part of the Fort Ancient complex in Ohio, is one case-in-point. New research has shown that this structure was more than just a circular embankment of earth (which is quite impressive in and of itself.) This research shows the circle was surrounded by a ring of posts (200 in all) aligned with the summer solstice and the earth in the central firepit was brought to the site from some other location.  Special seating or standing areas for specific clans were also thought to be part of this structure. Read more at the article below:

The Moorehead Circle, located at the head of one of the major ravines leading up from the Little Miami River, was a triple ring of large, wooden posts surrounding a central pit filled with red earth. A 40 by 50 ft rectangular structure was located adjacent to this central altar. An arc of alternating trenches and prepared floors on the southern half of the circle may have been something like bleachers, though Riordan doesn’t think it necessarily had wooden seats. In an e-mail, he suggested to me that these floors could have been places where “particular social groups, like members of clans, were supposed to watch the rites that occurred at the Circle’s center.”

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Gary C. Daniels

Gary C. Daniels is an award-winning, Emmy-nominated television, video and multimedia writer and producer. He has a M.A. degree in Communications from Georgia State University in Atlanta, a B.F.A. degree in TV Production from the Savannah College of Art and Design and an A.A. degree in Art from the College of Coastal Georgia. He has appeared on the Travel Channel, Discovery Channel, Science Channel and History Channel. His History Channel appearance became the highest-rated episode in the network's history. He has a passion for Native American history and art. He is the founder and publisher of