Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Hopewell culture is the term used to describe common aspects of the Native American culture that flourish along rivers in the northeastern and midwestern United States from c. 100 to c. 400 A.D. At its greatest extent, Hopewell culture stretched from western New York to Missouri and from Wisconsin to Mississippi, and included both the American and Canadian shores of Lake Ontario.
Common features of Hopewell culture include the predominance of agriculture as opposed to hunting and gathering. Chief crops included squash, sunflowers, and various grasses, though maize, which would later become a dietary staple in the region, was only rarely cultivated. Artifacts indicate that the people were also familiar with metallurgy, creating ornamental objects out of both copper and iron.
Today, the best-known feature of Hopewell culture is the mounds that they built for religious purposes and/or for burial. These mounds, especially along the Ohio River valley could take various geometric shapes and rise to impressive heights. Samples of these mounds can still be seen today, especially in the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park in Chillicothe, Ohio.
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