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Will Adena Pipe become Ohio’s newest symbol?

By   /   May 21, 2012  /   No Comments

By Maggie Thurber | Special to Ohio Watchdog

The Adena Pipe could be the official artifact of Ohio. (Courtesy of the Ohio Historical Society)

The list of Ohio symbols is about to get longer.

Most people will recognize the cardinal as Ohio’s state bird and the Buckeye as Ohio’s state tree. Soon, Ohio will have an official artifact.

H.B. 501, which is not expected to have any opposition, will name the Adena Pipe as the official artifact of the state.  The bill is scheduled for possible vote in the House State Government and Elections Committee Tuesday.

According to the Ohio Historical Society, the Adena Pipe “is one of the most famous ancient artifacts ever found in Ohio.”

It was found in 1901 during the excavation of the mound in Chillicothe for which the Adena culture is named. The pipe is typical of that culture in that it is tubular and made of Ohio pipestone. The bowl opening is between the figure’s feet. The much smaller mouthpiece opening is on the top of the head.

The Adena Pipe is unique because it is a tubular pipe carved in the image of a person. Whether it is meant to be a portrait of an actual Adena man, of a mythological being, or just an artist’s creation cannot be determined. The figure’s proportions are not “normal.” In fact, the enlarged head and neck in comparison to the torso suggest a type of dwarfism. Alternatively, the relative proportions may simply indicate what the artist chose to emphasize.

The Adena Pipe will join these other official symbols of Ohio:

State mammal: white-tailed deer

  • State insect:  seven-spot ladybug
  • State reptile: black racer snake
  • State cultivate flower: scarlet carnation
  • State wildflower: large white trillium
  • State beverage: tomato juice
  • State gemstone: flint
  • State fossil: trilobite

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