When was the Hopewell?
These people lived in the Northeast and Midwest of North America (from modern New York to Missouri and from Wisconsin to Mississippi).
Where did the Hopewell get started?
Nobody knows for sure where this culture got started – maybe these people lived first near Lake Erie and then expanded west and south, or maybe they lived first near Lake Superior and then expanded east and south. Maybe they didn’t move around at all, but just invited towns near them to join their network.
Tobacco farming and trading
Most of the towns and villages of the Hopewell culture were along the banks of rivers, and traders and rulers used the rivers to travel between the towns in canoes.
Like the earlier Adena people, these people grew tobacco and traded it along the Mississippi river. To the north, they traded for copper. To the south, they traded for expensive beads made of seashells, and for wood to make bows and arrows.
They built a lot of big earth mounds in various shapes, but nobody is sure what the mounds were for – maybe for burials.
The end of the Hopewell culture
Around 400 AD, their culture collapsed. Nobody knows why this happened. It may have something to do with changes in the environment. After several hundred years, the Mississippian culture took its place.