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UNESCO's World Heritage Sites now includes one of Southern Ohio's most sacred cultural sites

Steam fog lifts up from the mounds at Mound City Group on a cool summer morning.
Tom Engberg
NPS Photo
Steam fog lifts up from the mounds at Mound City Group on a cool summer morning.

Delegates from around the globe convened in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, this week to pick the newest additions to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list. Sites nominated must be of "outstanding universal value" and meet at least one out of 10 of UNESCO's selection criteria.

Of the 1,194 sites listed worldwide, only 24 of them are in the United States. Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks — comprising a system of eight locations throughout southern and central Ohio — became the 25th addition on Tuesday and the first in the state.

On Cincinnati Edition, we'll discuss the cultural significance of Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks, learn more about the UNESCO selection process and how the designation will impact the region and the state.


  • Jennifer Aultman, chief historic sites officer, Ohio History Connection
  • John Low, JD, Ph.D., associate professor in comparative studies, Ohio State University, director, Newark Earthworks Center
  • Bill Kennedy, site manager, Fort Ancient Earthworks and Nature Preserve

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