The pipe is a 2,000-year-old Native American stone tobacco pipe that was found in 1901 in a burial ground near Chillicothe.
The pipe was found after excavation of the Adena Mound, which once stood 26 feet tall on land owned by former Governor Thomas Worthington who wouldn’t allow its excavation. But when the land changed ownership, William C. Mills, curator of archaeology for what was then the Ohio Archaeological and Historical Society, made his move to discover the mounds’ secrets.
“The Adena Effigy Pipe is the earliest representation we have of a human in all of Ohio history or prehistory,” said Bradley T. Lepper, curator of archaeology at the Ohio Historical Society, in a press release. “Listing the Adena Effigy Pipe as Ohio’s state artifact would honor our indigenous heritage by giving a face to the too often forgotten American Indian people who were the first Ohioans.”