The Fort Ancient Mound Builders of Northern Kentucky

If you grew up on a farm in rural Northern Kentucky, you may have seen prehistoric stone artifacts that were churned up out of the earth by a plow prior to planting. We are fascinated with prehistoric peoples and their ways of life, and burial mounds are no exception. Mounds are quite common in the region and can be found throughout many Northern Kentucky and Southeast Ohio counties. With the help of archaeology, we have gotten to take a peek back in time into the daily life of the peoples who inhabited the region prior to European settlement. One of the many cultural groups that had a prehistoric presence in the Ohio Valley region was the Fort Ancient, believed to be an offshoot of the widespread Mississippian culture that dominated the Midwest and Southeast United States. The Fort Ancients lived in the region during the Late Prehistoric Period between 1000-1750 CE. Fort Ancient habitation sites are divided into three temporal spans (3): Fort Ancient prior to 1200 CE Middle Fort Ancient 1200-1400 CE Fort Ancient after 1400 CE They lived in small villages and relied on farming to cultivate most of their food, but also engaged in hunting, fishing, and gathering of wild plants (3). Fort Ancients organized their societies differently than the Mississippians, which is why we find fewer mounds of Fort Ancient origin (3) than Mississippian. Though the Fort Ancient were not the only ones, they were the most recent to build mounds in this region. Most notably, the Fort Ancients are known for their construction of the Alligator Mound in Licking County, Ohio and their modification of the Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio. Mound building may have served a number of functions for the Native Americans, including protection, observation, shelter, in addition ceremonial or sacrificial purposes and [...]