In 1787 a man named Rufus Putman began to lay out the township of Marietta, Ohio. He decided to build the town close to a complex of large mounds because he saw them as a asset for the town. This gave scientist access to study the mounds. Using dendrochronology they were able to determine that the mounds were built before A.D. 1300. The significance of the mounds were exposed and Marietta was able to raise money in order to fence the mounds off to save them. This was not the case with all the earthworks. Many mounds were being destroyed because of development and farming.
People began to discover that there were many interesting artifacts to be found inside the mounds. The artifacts created good and bad for the survivability of the mounds. Antiquarians caught word of these treasures and took full advantage. Many sites began to get looted and destroyed because of excavations. The artifacts also attracted the attention of scientist who would bring the Mound Builders to the main stage. Caleb Atwater was able to survey the mounds of the Ohio Valley and place them into three categories. These categories were the Adena (Early Woodland), Hopewell (Middle Woodland), and the Mississippian (Monks Mound). He still did not give credit to the Native