Mitchell Museum
of the American Indian

3001 Central Street
Evanston, IL 60201


Earthworks: Virtual Explorations of the Ancient Ohio Valley

American Indian cultures that once flourished in the Great Lakes and Ohio/Mississippi River Valleys constructed geometric and animal-shaped earthworks that often rivaled Stonehenge in their astronomical accuracy. Their descendants include the historic tribes of Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

A few earthworks still exist - Serpent Mound in Adams County, Ohio, for example - but most of the region's ancient architecture was all but squandered. Earthworks, from as early as 600 B.C.E. that stretched over miles and rose to heights of 15 feet or more, were either gouged out or plowed under in the 19th century or paved over for development in the 20th.

Now this lost heritage from the Adena, Hopewell and Fort Ancient cultures is returning in the form of a new exhibit at the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian that will include virtual reconstructions of earthworks from 39 sites. The electronic recreations represent nearly 10 years of work by an extensive team of architects, archaeologists, historians, and technical experts.

EarthWorks includes topographic models, virtual artifact kiosks and, at the heart of the exhibit, an interactive video navigation system developed by the Center for the Electronic Reconstruction of Historical and Archaeological Sites (CERHAS) at the University of Cincinnati. The video navigation system combines the best of three media formats: the exploratory nature of virtual reality, multimedia, and narrative video. Visitors to the exhibit control the path through the segments with a touch screen

For more information, visit the Earthworks Traveling Exhibit.


Exhibits are funded in part through a generous grant from the




Tuesday – Saturday:
10am – 5pm
Thursday: 10am – 8pm
Sunday: 12pm – 4pm

Adults: $5.00
Children, students, teachers, seniors: $3.00 
Mitchell Members: FREE
Tribal Members: FREE



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