An earthen circle large enough to contain the Empire State Building on its side. An octagonal earthwork capable of holding four Roman Coliseums. A vast hilltop enclosure overlooking a dramatic river gorge.
These wonders are among the eight sites in central and southern Ohio that UNESCO recently placed on its World Heritage list as the Hopewell Ceremonial Earthworks. The first recognized in the state and the 25th in the United States, these structures are the largest geometrically shaped earthworks on the planet, now on par with fellow World Heritage sites Stonehenge, Machu Picchu, and the Great Wall of China.
The prehistoric Hopewell culture, which flourished in the river valleys of southern Ohio between roughly 200 and 500 B.C., is one of several North American Indigenous people archaeologists once collectively referred to as “mound builders.” Some experts argue that the Hopewells (named for the farmer on whose land the mounds were discovered in the 1890s) were among the most advanced of all North American Indigenous cultures in mathematics, civil engineering, and astronomy.
Their trade networks swept across most of the continent. They gathered materials for their artwork as far as the Yellowstone region, the Great Lakes, the Carolinas, and the Gulf of Mexico. At a time when all roads in Europe famously led to Rome, something similar was happening in North America, converging on Ohio.
Those achievements are all the more stunning considering that scholars believe the Hopewells had no written language nor centralized form of government. Despite having no leader decreeing the building of such structures, the Hopewells periodically gathered from tiny villages scattered across great distances to erect these elaborate structures, one basketful of dirt at a time.
“The people who built these earthworks achieved something extraordinary ... in how they wove a profound understanding of geometry and astronomy into these places,” says Jennifer Aultman, chief historic sites officer at the Ohio History Connection, which manages some of the sites. “The earthworks also bear witness to cultural connections across much of North America, bringing both people and objects to the Ohio River Valley 2,000 years ago.”
What motivated them? What was the purpose of these structures? Archaeologists continue to uncover answers. Travelers, too, can mull these questions as they explore three key sites. Here’s how to visit.
455 Hebron Road, Heath
These earthworks are collectively located in the charming towns of Heath and Newark, about 30 miles east of Columbus. Experts estimate that it took roughly seven million cubic feet of dirt to build this four-square-mile complex including a square, an ellipse, and walled avenues, most of
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December brings frigid temperatures and howling winds to the city of Boston, but fortunately, the holiday season serves as a major silver lining for winter residents. Clad in twinkling lights and a towering Christmas tree gifted from Nova Scotia, the city takes on a particularly charming ambiance that makes it well worth visiting in spite of the weather—and as an added bonus, Boston’s hottest hotels, bars and restaurants are all joining in on the festivities. As you plan your next foray into New England’s most dazzling city, don’t miss out on these holiday-themed promotions and events.
Prepping for winter requires serious effort. By the time autumn falls brisk and wet, tree squirrels are already hard at work hoarding and hiding the nuts and seeds they’ll need to sustain themselves through the coldest months. Moles are busying themselves capturing and immobilizing earthworms in underground dungeons. And acorn woodpeckers are drilling and storing up to 50,000 acorns in the dead limbs of “granary trees.”
For travellers with time on their side and a thirst for adventure, America’s old-school train network offers a charming way to see the country. Brought together under the banner of Amtrak services in 1970, rail tracks wind between almost every state. Travellers can chug through the Rockies, cross the Great Plains or skirt the Pacific Ocean in California, watching the US’s diverse landscapes unfurl from the comfort of a cabin. To get the best value, helpful booking tips and find out what facilities are on board, try this handy guide.
The holiday season is about to begin and one very pleasant way to increase the holiday cheer of your celebrations is with a creative cocktail. Whether you are indulging in an American gin with an abundance of botanicals or a special bottle of pisco from Chile, an interesting and tasty beverage is a terrific way to welcome guests and spur conversation. Below are six fun cocktails to show off your bartending skills.
The travel and tourism industry has been busy the past few years acknowledging and coming to terms with the worsening effects of climate change and the environmental destruction that’s being laid bare the world over. From dramatic biodiversity loss to the scourge of plastic pollution, the planet is grappling with a long list of daunting challenges.Addressing these issues, as more than a few industry conversations have made clear, will take participation at every level—from the destination managers to the corporate offices of travel brands down to suppliers, transportation companies, and travel agents.But there’s yet another key player in the industry who also has a vital role to play in advancing sustainable travel and the proactive protection of the planet, as well. And these individuals are on the front lines of travel every day: Tour guides. Often overlooked in conversations surrounding the industry-wide transformation that needs to take place, tour guides are an essential part of realizing a better future.“Tour guides, through their direct interactions with tourists, have the power to influence behaviors and shape the tourism experience,” says Brian Raffio, senior adventure travel consultant for the travel company Climbing Kilimanjaro. “By embracing their role as ambassadors and change-makers, they can contribute significantly to the shift towards a more sustainable and responsible tourism industry.”Indeed, a tour guide’s actions, practices, and interactions with tourists can significantly impact the environmental, social, and economic well-being of a destination and ultimately the planet and its people.The good news is that many travel stakeholders have already been thinking about the increasingly important role that tour guides play. Including the tour guides themselves.TravelPulse talked with individuals from every level of travel and tourism about the role of tour guides as the industry attempts to shift toward more sustainable business models that will better protect nature, wildlife, and local communities for generations to come. Here are outtakes from those conversations and tips from these same individuals about how tour guides can actively advance sustainability and environmental stewardship on a daily basis.
Today is your last chance to shop the Béis Cyber Monday sale. Béis lovers and newcomers can save 25 percent off sitewide. If you've been eyeing luggage or travel accessories from Béis, now is the time to buy—the brand does not hold sales often, and this is its only sitewide sale of the year. Below, we're answering all of your questions about the sale, and sharing our top picks of the best suitcases, duffels, and travel accessories from Béis to score now for your next trip. Happy shopping!
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