Walk with the Ancients organized

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NEWARK — Following nearly the same route that might have been taken thousands of years ago by American Indians, about 30 people intend to set out Saturday to trek nearly 70 miles from Chillicothe to Newark.

Their journey will take about a week and echo a journey thought to have been repeatedly made by the Hopewell Indians nearly 2,000 years ago.

"The basic idea is pilgrimage," said Richard Shiels, director of the Newark Earthworks Center. "The idea that people came here from great distances."

Although it is thought ancient people traveled to what now is Newark from much greater distances than Chillicothe, the route between the two cities is distinctive.

Some archeologists, including Brad Lepper at the Ohio Historical Society, believe there might have been a Great Hopewell Road characterized by two parallel mounds that ran in a straight line between the two ceremonial sites.

Lepper said the idea of the road originates with Caleb Atwater, the postmaster of Circleville in 1820.

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