World Heritage Site new “Tentative List” Places to Love”: Serpent Mound

For the Gadling series “World Heritage Site new “Tentative List”: Places to Love” we are covering the 14 sites that have been submitted for possible inclusion as an official World Heritage Site in the United States. The sites will not be posted in order of importance or in the order they appear on the list.

Number 12

Name of site: Serpent Mound

Location: Adams County, Ohio

Reason for importance (in a nutshell): The largest serpent effigy in the United States. At more than 1/2 mile long and more than three feet high in places, this mound of earth is shaped like a coiling serpent. This mysterious structure was created by the Adena culture somewhere between 800 BC-AD 100.

Jamie’s Take: When I moved to Ohio, I knew all about the Anasazi culture of the Southwest but little about the ancient folks who used to inhabit this part of the United States. When I visited Serpent Mound I was fuzzy about what it is. It’s like the Stonehenge of the Ohio in a way. Instead of huge slabs of rock that people ponder over, there’s this serpent shape. There is conjecture that the placement of the serpent has meaning. The alignment of the head and tail may be in relation to the directions of the summer solstice sunset, the winter solstice sunrise and the equinox sunrise. It’s purpose has an aura of mystery. You really need to come and see it. Adams County is also one of Ohio’s most beautiful.