HomeHistoryThe Adena Pipe – State Artifact

This wonderful native American pipe was found over a century ago in a burial ground near the town of Chillicothe.   It’s been unofficially known as the Adena pipe however it is now about to become the official state artifact of the Ohio.  The Governor is expected to sign off this status sometime this coming week.

It was found after the Adena Mound was excavated, initially this had been forbidden by the landowner Thomas Worthington.  However it changed ownership and the curator of archaeology – William C Mills was given permission to try and discover what lay within the mound.  Probably the best item recovered was the pipe which represents the earliest representation of a human form ever found in Ohio and an important piece of modern American history.


Granting the Adena Effigy pipe the status of Ohio’s state artifact is a way of remembering the first natives of Ohio who were of course the Native American Indians.    Adena is actually the Hebrew word for ’delightful place’, the pipe probably belonged to an important adult male.  It was carved from the pipestone which can be found alongside the Scioto river in Ohio and was probably buried with it’s owner in the Adena mound.

It stands eight inches tall and it seems to have been used to smoke tobacco through.  It has it’s home now in the Ohio Historical Society in Columbus.  The status was first proposed by the 4th graders at Columbus School for Girls.  It has taken 4 years though from this initial proposal until it’s been approved from the Senate.

It’s an important piece of Ohio’s history and it is fitting that it has been recognised in this manner. There are increasing signs that Native American history is being preserved in this country, which is highly encouraging.  It seems a long time since a photographer Edward Curtis started to record the history of the American Indians over a hundred years ago.  You can see some of this work in a documentary which is available on the BBC website – if you need access to watch it from outside the UK – this post can help –  http://bbciplayerabroad.co.uk/ which allows you to watch the documentaries wherever you happen to be.

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