Sunrise Between the Mounds of Fort Ancient Earthworks.
Photo: Fort Ancient
Photo: Fort Ancient

Welcome the first day of summer as ancient people did

Fort Ancient hosts summer solstice sunrise gathering Friday morning

Early risers are welcome to gather at 5:30 a.m. to watch the sun rise between two walls of earth as people who lived there did 2,000 years ago. 

>>7 reasons why Fort Ancient is one of the most fascinating places in our area

The Hopewell people built an earthworks embankment wall at Fort Ancient that surrounds approximately 125 acres of the plateau during their presence between the first century BC and the sixth century AD. 

Visitors Matt Berger, left, and Kristen Wickert observe a mound at Fort Ancient that is astronomically aligned with the Winter Solstice. Fort Ancient Earthworks outside Lebanon are one stop on the Ancient Ohio Trail, a system of Native American heritage sites a retired UC professor is turning into a global tourist attraction.John Hancock, a retired architecture professor at UC, is also helping put together the application for Fort Ancient, managed by the Dayton Society of Natural History, and other Ohio sites to be designated as a World Heritage Site. But the Ancient Ohio Trail is a separate initiative designed to draw tourists to Ohio. TY GREENLEES / STAFF
Photo: Ty Greenlees

Visitors also will learn the importance of Fort Ancient and the natural world at the free summer solstice event. 

>>Fort Ancient, other Ohio sites step closer to World Heritage status

The summer solstice is known as the longest day of the year because in the Northern Hemisphere it’s the day that receives the most hours of daylight. It receives the most sunlight because Earth is tilted toward the sun for the longest time during a day. 

Want to go? 

What: First day of summer at Fort Ancient 

When: Friday, June 21. Gates open at 5:30 a.m. 

Where: Fort Ancient,  6123 State Route 350, Oregonia, Ohio