Three Ohio sites under review by UNESCO

serpentmoundlowWorld Heritage status under consideration

Three Ohio historic sites have been nominated to join the U.S. tentative list of the UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) World Heritage List. That means they’re eligible to become inscribed on the permanent list, signifying outstanding universal value to humanity.

The three Buckeye State sites  are among 13 sites nationwide on the U.S. tentative list from which nominees will be chosen to move forward in the selection process, which could take years to decide. To date, the United States has 23 inscribed sites, with none in Ohio.

Overall, the World Heritage List, started in 1972, has around 1,000 inscribed sites worldwide. Those sites include the Pyramids of Giza, the Great Wall of China, Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Stonehenge.

Children on the observation deck at Serpent Mound.
Children on the observation deck at Serpent Mound.

The three Ohio sites on the U.S. tentative list include the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks National Park, spread out over several counties; the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County’ and the Dayton Aviation sites in Montgomery County.

Efforts are underway to prepare the Hopewell to move forward on the U.S. tentative list, with the other two Ohio sites soon to follow. The Hopewell Ceremonial National Park includes the Newark Earthworks in Newark in Licking County, the Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve in Warren County, and five geometric earthworks in the Hopewell Culture National Historic Park in Chillicothe in Ross County.

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