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The Fertile Earth and the Ordered Cosmos: Reflections on the Newark Earthworks and World Heritage

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Rising in quiet grandeur from the earth in an astoundingly engineered arrangement that ancient peoples mapped to the movements of the moon, Ohio's Newark Earthworks form the largest geometric earthen complex ever known. In the two thousand years of their existence, they have served as gathering place, ceremonial site, fairground, army encampment, golf course, and park. And, at long last, they are poised (along with neighboring sites) to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site--a designation that recognizes their international importance as a direct link to the ancient past as well as their continuing cultural and archaeological significance.

The lush photos and wide-ranging essays of The Fertile Earth and the Ordered Cosmos honor this significance, not only to the global community but to local individuals and scholars who have developed intimate connections to the Earthworks. In sharing their experiences with this ancient site, public historians, archaeologists, physicists, architects, and others--including local and Indigenous voices--continue the work of nearly two hundred years of citizen efforts to protect and make accessible the Newark Earthworks after centuries of stewardship by Indigenous people. The resulting volume serves as a rich primer on the site for those unfamiliar with its history and a beautifully produced tribute for those who are already acquainted with its wonders.

ISBN-13: 9780814258705

Media Type: Paperback

Publisher: Trillium

Publication Date: 06-30-2023

Pages: 152

Series: Trillium Books

M. Elizabeth Weiser is a professor of rhetoric and museology at The Ohio State University, specializing in public memory and national narratives. She is the author of Museum Rhetoric: Building Civic Identity in National Spaces and other books.

Timothy R. W. Jordan worked as an interpreter and site manager for the Newark Earthworks and Flint Ridge Ancient Quarries and Nature Preserve from 2013 to 2022. He is on the English faculty of Zane State College and is a seminarian at Trinity Lutheran Seminary.

Richard D. Shiels is an emeritus associate professor of history at The Ohio State University and the founding director of the university's Newark Earthworks Center. He is coeditor (with Lindsay Jones) of The Newark Earthworks: Enduring Monuments, Contested Meanings.