State Artifact

THE NAME, Adena, may soon earn recognition among Ohio’s state symbols.

It’s not referring to the village, located in Harrison and Jefferson counties, or to the Adena Mound in Tiltonsville.

Instead, it concerns a artifact estimated to be about 2,000 years old.

Legislation to name the Adena Pipe as the official artifact for the Buckeye State has been approved by the Ohio Senate and was sent to the House of Representatives.

The pipe was found on the estate of Thomas Worthington, and the estate is named Adena.

Worthington, who was Ohio’s sixth governor and is sometimes called the “Father of Statehood,” wrote about the name, Adena, in his diary in 1811. He noted it was a name given to “places remarkable for the delightfulness of their situations.”

Some other sources report Adena is of Hebrew origin and means “delicate, soft, delightful, luxurious.”

The effigy pipe isn’t the only state symbol linked to Worthington’s Adena estate. It is said that the state seal is based on the eastern view from Worthington’s home near Chillicothe.

THE ADENA Pipe was proposed as the state artifact by students from the Columbus School for Girls.

This isn’t the first time that students have suggested a state symbol. In 1985, the trilobite became the official state fossil for Ohio, following some suggestions by two elementary school classes in Dayton.

The trilobite lived more than 250 million years ago or 430-480 million years ago, according to varying sources. Regardless, it’s way before the present era and beyond our recall.

It’s encouraging that students are learning so much about Ohio history and are willing to work so state legislators will take desired actions.

OHIO History Central reports that the Adena culture, believed to be in existence from 800 B.C. to A.D. 1, “refers to the prehistoric American Indian peoples that lived in southern Ohio and neighboring regions of West Virginia, Kentucky and Indiana.”

The Adena Pipe is the only one unearthed that is human form. Most are in the shapes of birds, animals and reptiles.

It may be on its way to be the third in the nation and the first in the Midwest to become an official state artifact.