MARIEMONT, Ohio, Aug. 1 (UPI) -- A so-called "serpent mound" discovered in Ohio and thought to be built by Indians centuries ago may be the largest such mound in the world, researchers say.
University of Cincinnati anthropologist Ken Tankersley says the mound in Mariemont represents the remnants of a serpent mound built by Fort Ancient Indians between 1400 and 1800, and at 2,952 feet long is more than twice as long as the Great Serpent Mound in Adams County, considered by many to be the largest serpent effigy in the world, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported Monday.
"This Mariemont serpent mound is much better preserved than the one in Adams County, which was largely reconstructed," Tankersley told the Enquirer. "The fact that this much of the Mariemont earthwork survives is miraculous."
Tankersley said he believes the symbolic serpent mound would also have had a practical purpose, channeling water down a slope to a nearby Indian village.
It is highly unlikely anything is buried in the mound because serpent mounds weren't used as burial sites, he said. "Serpent mounds were built as monuments or landmarks."
Tankersley first discovered the serpent shape of the mound in 2007 using satellite imagery.
"A lot of people think you have to travel halfway around the world to find a world-class archaeological site," Tankersley, who grew up in the area, said. "But here's one right in our own backyard."