MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Dr. Bruce M. Rothschild, MD, a professor at the West Virginia University School of Medicine, will present “From Fairchance to Santa Barbara, a Shared Experience” at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville on Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. The lecture is part of the Complex’s monthly lecture and film series and is free and open to the public.

Dr. Rothschild’s research includes applying knowledge gained from archaeological sites to the study of modern diseases. As people migrate to new areas, they carry along with them their language, their culture and their diseases. Origins of both disease and patient can be inferred by studying the physical remains of those travelers. In this presentation, he will discuss evidence of yaws, a disfiguring disease that still exists today. When compared to modern x-rays, bones from ancient cemeteries reveal that yaws was present during prehistoric times in much of North America, limited only by the Cascade Mountains to the West and Ontario to the North. It reached California at a later point in time, not from the east, but by a more circuitous route. Studying the transmission of the disease at locations such as Fairchance and Santa Barbara reveals the story of people and how they interacted.

In addition to teaching, Rothschild is a research associate at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pa.  He holds an M.D. from New Jersey College of Medicine in Newark, N.J., and earned his B.S. in biology honors and chemistry at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. As a visiting professor, he has taught at universities in the U.S., Canada, the Caribbean, South America, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, Asia and Australia, and has been invited to present lectures at universities, hospitals and museums throughout the world. His work includes over 900 scientific papers and abstracts, as well as seven books, and he has participated in eight Discovery Channel and BBC documentaries on origins of diseases.

Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features one of the largest conical burial mounds built by the Adena people between 250 – 150 B.C. and ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. Exhibits and displays in the Delf Norona Museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The complex also houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Collections Management Facility.

Admission to Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is free. The Delf Norona Museum, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Outdoor access closes at 4:30 p.m.

For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or or visit and

The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.