On Mordecai Hopewell's Ohio farm archeologists excavated Indian mounds in 1891 and found copper ornaments, stone tools, effigy pipes, obsidian spear points, ornamented bear teeth, shark teeth, intricately carved bones, mica cutouts, and much more. From this astounding find, archeologists later defined an American Indian culture they named the Hopewell that lived 2,200 to 1,500 years ago.
The Hopewell were not the first American Indians to build mounds and earthworks, nor were they the only Indian culture of their region and era. But the Hopewell were a culture living in a cultural explosion. They represent a rich blossoming of art, architecture, and ritual, coinciding with a geographic expansion of cultural influence and exchange. This was unprecedented in North America until their time.