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Ohio State Artifact

Adena Pipe   Adopted: May 16, 2013
Ohio state artifact
Ohio State Artifact: Adena Pipe

It was discovered in 1901 by William C. Mills, then curator of archaeology for the Ohio State Archaeology and Historical Society, within a burial mound in Chillicothe.

According to the Ohio Historical Society "the Adena Pipe is a tubular pipe carved from Ohio pipestone into an effigy of a Native American man wearing ear spools and a loincloth with a feather bustle attached to the back." [ 1 ]

The Adena people lived in the region between 800 B.C. and 100 A.D. Tubular tobacco pipes were common among these ancient Ohioans, but pipes depicting humans were rare. It?s likely the Adena Pipe belonged to a high-ranking man of his era.


The effort to name the Adena pipe the official state artifact of Ohio was initiated by 4th-grade students at the Columbus School for Girls in 2009 but defeated in two legislative sessions.

House Bill No. 600, introduced to the 128th General Assembly (2009-2010), by Representative Nancy Garland on November 9, 2010, was referred to the House State and Local Government Committee. There it sat until the legislature adjourned at the end of the year. No action was taken.

The students were back again for the 129th General Assembly (2011-2012 session). House Bill No. 501, this time introduced by Representatives John Carney and Mike Duffy on April 4, 2012, was passed by the House of Representatives by unanimous vote (93-0) on November 28, 2012. Unfortunately, Senate President Tom Niehaus had bad news for the students. The bill was not considered in the State Senate.

"It will not be taken up before the end of this General Assembly, and the reason is there is just not enough time," said Angela Meleca, spokeswoman for Niehaus, a New Richmond Republican.


There was nothing the students could do except to wait for the next session of the General Assembly. And that, they did.

The 130th General Assembly (2013-2014) paid off. Bills were introduced in the House and in the Senate. Senate Bill No. 33, introduced by State Senators Kevin Bacon and Frank LaRose on February 13, 2013 was passed in both the Senate (April 10, 2013) and the House (April 30, 2013).

The Adena pipe was adopted as the official state artifact of the State of Ohio, when Governor John Kasich signed Senate Bill No. 33 on May 16, 2013. The law went into effect on August 15, 2013.

(130th General Assembly)
(Senate Bill Number 33)


To enact section 5.075 of the Revised Code to adopt the Adena Pipe as the official artifact of the state.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Ohio:

SECTION 1. That section 5.075 of the Revised Code be enacted to read as follows:

Sec. 5.075. The artifact known as the Adena pipe, which is a prehistoric effigy pipe that was discovered in 1901 by William C. Mills within a burial mound near Chillicothe and that was created by the ancient Adena culture from native Ohio pipestone, is adopted as the official state artifact.

Only two other states have adopted a state artifact.


Bacon, Kevin, and Frank LaRose. "SB 33." 130th General Assembly of the State of Ohio. State of Ohio, 16 May 2013. Web. 7 Sep 2013.

"Ohio governor signs bill creating state artifact." Fox 19 - WXIX. The Associated Press, 16 May 2013. Web. 17 May 2013.

Everhart, Michelle. "Pipe up for state artifact not getting any younger." The Columbus Dispatch. The Columbus Dispatch, 29 Nov 2012. Web. 07 Sep 2013.

[ 1 ] Beathard, Jane. "Is Ohio considering a state artifact?." The Madison Press. The Madison Press, 09 Apr 2013. Web. 10 Apr 2013.

Parks, Tiffany L.. "News Bill names ancient pipe as official state artifact." The Toledo Legal News. The Daily Reporter, 22 Nov 2010. Web. 03 May 2012.

Additional Information

Podcast from the Ohio Historical Society

Adena Pipe: Ohio Historical Society.

Adena Pipe: Ohio History Central, developed and maintained by the Ohio Historical Society.

More symbols & emblems: Complete list of official Ohio state symbols from NETSTATE.COM.

The Archaeology of Ohio
The Archaeology of Ohio
Robert N. Converse

The Archaeology of Ohio, by Robert N. Converse. 370 pages. Publisher: Archaeological Society of Ohio (2003)

This 370 page volume tells, for the first time, the fascinating story of the prehistoric people of Ohio and the Ohio River valley. Profusely illustrated with 80 color plates, including hundreds of photographs and drawings of sites, excavations, tools, projectile points, slate artifacts, rare Middle-Woodland artifacts, and much more. The Archaeology of Ohio covers the entire period of Ohio prehistory from the appearance of the Ice Age Paleo-American fluted point people to the entry of the first European explorers in the 17th century. Written in language understandable by laymen and archaeologists alike.

NThe Glacial Kame IndiansAME
The Glacial Kame Indians
Robert N. Converse

The Glacial Kame Indians, by Robert N. Converse. 159 pages. Publisher: The Archaeological Society of Ohio (2000)

This hardbound, dustcovered book is a limited special publication of The Archaeological Society of Ohio. The Glacial Kame Indians is over 150 pages and describes thirty-five Glacial Kame sites, many of which have never been fully published.

The book also contains five maps and eighty-five photographs and artifact illustrations. Included is an appendix that describes and discusses the old as well as new evidence on the Red Ocher culture and its relationship to Glacial Kame and Adena.

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