MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville celebrates its 25th annual West Virginia Archaeology Day from noon to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 7. The family-friendly program coincides with West Virginia Archaeology Month, which is celebrated throughout October. All activities are free and open to the public.
Highlights of the day include hands-on activities such as making clay pots with artist Betsy Cox, owner/operator of Echo Valley Pottery in Glen Dale, W.Va.; flint-knapping demonstrations by Robert Walden of Poca, W.Va.; behind-the-scenes tours of the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Collections Management Facility; a museum treasure hunt run by the Greater Moundsville Convention and Visitor’s Bureau; archaeological films in the museum’s auditorium; and a hands-on archaeological stratigraphy activity.
Special displays will include books and objects relating to Native Americans by Marian Phillips, replicas of prehistoric tools by Robert and Jaynetta Walden and a display of archaeological projects conducted by GAI Consultants, an engineering, environmental and consulting firm in Pittsburgh, Pa.
Archaeological seeds also will be featured. Archaeologist Amanda Valko and Brian Fritz, archaeologist and owner of Quemahoning, LLC, will demonstrate sorting seed samples under a microscope. Ian Gray, Preserve West Virginia Americorps volunteer at the Cockayne Farmstead in Glen Dale, W.Va., will lead a hands-on activity relating to seeds found during excavation of the farmstead’s privy.
Visitors will have the opportunity to get photographed sitting in the complex’s new dug-out canoe created by John Redeye Sr., member of the Hawk Clan of the Seneca Nation.
Weather permitting, Lori and Andy Majorsky, members of the World Atlatl Association, will provide a hands-on demonstration of spear throwing with a tool known as an atlatl. Lori is a three-time Women’s World Champion of this prehistoric skill.
Additional Archaeology Month programs include the showing of two films. “America Before Columbus,” a 90-minute National Geographic production that sheds light on the complex new world encountered by Columbus, will be shown on Saturday, Oct. 14. “Vampire Legend,” a 60-minute documentary that explores the vampire’s links to Medieval England as part of the PBS Secrets of the Dead series, will be presented on Saturday, Oct. 21. Both films will be shown at 1 and 3 p.m.
On Thursday, Oct. 26 at 7 p.m., Archaeology Month will close with a lecture titled “Ancient Earthworks in the Middle Ohio Valley: Discovering New Sites and Re-examining the Old” by Dr. Jarrod Burks, director of Archaeological Geophysics at Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc. Recent aerial photograph analysis and on-the-ground geophysical surveys have found a surprising number of previously undocumented enclosure sites, as well as many new features at well-known sites. Join us as we explore these new discoveries and see first-hand some of the exciting new scientific data that is leading scholars into a new era of earthwork research in our region.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/gravecreekmound and www.twitter.com/gravecreekmound.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is proud to be able to present its programs at no charge to the public, but without a solution to the state’s budget situation, this could be the last year that programs of this type could be offered. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet secretary. It 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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.