Eight hundred years ago a farming community of Woodlands peoples existed here at what is now called SunWatch in Dayton, Ohio. Sixty years ago this was a family farm, the owners of which knew nothing of the archeological trove beneath their fields. Then archeologists uncovered evidence of a planned community consisting of ceremonial buildings, residences, agricultural fields, food storage pits, burials, and even evidence of long distance trade. Today many of the buildings in the village once occupied by the Fort Ancient people have been reconstructed on their original foundations and illustrate much about day to day family activities as well as community and ceremonial life. We were fascinated with the museum which focuses especially on SunWatch as well as thrilled to be able to walk through the village and into the buildings, imagining life back then. One touching item was the skeleton of a pet dog excavated from a human burial site. A fascinating feature was that the shadow of the 40 foot cedar pole in the center of the village enters the doorway of the Solistice House on the morning of Winter Solistice but it enters the doorway of the Big House on April 29th and August 14th indicating the dates to plant corn, to celebrate the Green Corn ceremony known as Busk, and the harvest the corn which was the primary foodstuff for the about 250 people who lived here for approximately twenty years. According to archeologists, where these people went from here is unknown although likely their descendants may be counted among the peoples living here before the formation of the Northwest Territory by the newly established United States in the late 1700’s.

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3 Comments

  1. Alberto Parra

    Hi Steve & Karen. Nice blog. This Al & Jane; we thought we had taken a picture of the folding bamboo table that you showed us during our visit at SugarCreek. I looked on the items you guys use, but I don’t see it there. Can you please tell us what the table brand name is and is it on Amazon for purchase. Thanks for your help.

    Al & Jane

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  2. Alberto

    Thanks Steve & Karen. Safe travels!

    Reply

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