MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville announces a full schedule of events in September. All programs are free and open to the public.
The activities kick off with the arrival of a dug-out canoe on Wednesday, Sept. 6th. The canoe was carved by John D. Redeye, a Hawk Clan member of the Seneca Nation. It was carved from a single tree trunk and will be a permanent addition to the museum’s exhibits. The project began in January 2017 and was completed in August. Redeye is employed by the Seneca Nation as a master carver and instructor for the Men’s Ceremonial Language Program.
The museum’s Second Saturday film series will feature “Historic Archaeology: Beneath Kentucky’s Fields and Streets” at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9. The 60-minute documentary explores the lives of ordinary people through discoveries made at several archaeological sites in Kentucky. The film covers the Frontier Period (1770s -1820s), the Antebellum Period (1820s -1860s), the Civil War (1861-1865) and Industrialization (1860s -1910s). These periods coincide with some of the artifacts featured in the museum’s exhibit, The Buried Past: Artifacts from West Virginia’s Wild, Wonderful History. The film is a production of The Kentucky Heritage Council and The Kentucky Archaeological Survey.
On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Complex will host Fossil Day from noon to 4 p.m. The public is invited to bring mystery fossils from home for expert identification. Dr. Ronald Mc Dowell, senior research geologist and head of the geoscience section of the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES), will examine the fossils. Family-oriented activities include finding a real fossil by looking through a pile of rock matrix, making a replica fossil critter, excavating a “fossil bed” created during Fossil Day in March and a scavenger hunt in the exhibit Prehistoric West Virginia: West Virginia Fossils. A 19-minute film titled “Rocks and Rivers: West Virginia’s Geologic Heritage,” produced by the WVGES, will be shown on a continuous loop in the auditorium. Visitors also will be able to walk across the street to the old West Virginia Penitentiary to view a special display about the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex at the Elizabethtown Festival and stop at the Fall Festival on Jefferson Avenue. Both festivals will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
The Complex will take part in the annual Smithsonian magazine’s Museum Day Live! event on Saturday, Sept. 23, during which participating museums offer free admission to visitors. Since admission to Grave Creek Mound is always free, guests are invited to participate in special activities planned for the day. Weather permitting, there will be tours of the museum’s Interpretive Garden and newly established patch of blueberry and pawpaw plants. A garden check-list will be available so visitors can keep track of the plants they find growing in the garden. The program will run from noon to 4 p.m.
The monthly Lecture and Film Series will resume on Thursday, Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. Mr. Wesley Clarke, manager of collections at the Castle Museum in Marietta, Ohio, will present a lecture titled “Hopewell Geometry, Astronomy and the Marietta Earthworks.” Clarke will discuss prehistoric earthworks located at Marietta, including several unusual features as well as astronomical alignments. While systematic examination of these earthen monuments has been limited, research during the past 25 years has added substantially to the site record.
Throughout the month, visitors to Grave Creek Mound can make a craft at the museum’s Discovery Table during regular museum hours. Guests are invited to make a Plate Puzzle by recreating their favorite plate design from the Homer Laughlin China Company: West Virginia’s Gift to the World! exhibit, or using their own imagination to turn a cardboard circle into a replica plate. The circles can be taken home and cut into pieces to create a puzzle that resembles the broken pieces of plates that archaeologists reassemble in the lab.
The museum also is pleased to announce its Featured Artist of the Month, Clare McDonald, who will display her artwork in the downstairs entry hall. McDonald, a Wheeling resident, specializes in oils, acrylic, graphite and watercolor work. Her work will be on display throughout the month.
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.