MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville has a variety of activities and exhibits for visitors looking for something to do in December and January. All programs are free and open to the public.

One highlight of the season at the Complex is a String Art exhibit created by art studio students from Moundsville Middle School and fifth grade students from Washington Lands Elementary School who teamed up to create abstract pieces using liquid watercolor as their medium. The unique and colorful designs were created by manipulating string and watercolors on sheets of paper. The exhibit opens Tuesday, Dec. 17, and runs until Tuesday, Jan. 7. Joy Van Scyoc, art teacher at Moundsville Middle School, will lead a public demonstration of how the artwork was created on Saturday, Jan. 4, from 2 to 4 p.m. Visitors will have the opportunity to create their own art piece to take home.

Throughout December and January, seasonal crafts at the museum will include decorating the upper hallway windows with paper snowflakes hand-made by visitors. In December, visitors also can create a snowman or pine tree decoration by scratching a design into special scratch-art paper.  For January, supplies will be on hand for making an indoor snowman or snowwoman using a repurposed water bottle as a base and an assortment of craft materials.

The Complex also has several films scheduled for December 2019 and January 2020. The schedule is as follows.

Saturday, Dec. 14, 1 and 3 p.m.: “America Before Columbus” (90 min)
When Columbus stepped ashore in 1492, he encountered not a “New World,” but a very old one whose inhabitants had created a vast infrastructure of cities, orchards, canals and causeways. An endless wave of explorers, conquistadors and settlers followed, bringing along plants, animals – and disease. In the first 100 years of contact, entire civilizations were wiped out and the landscape was changed forever. This film is a National Geographic production.

Thursday, Dec. 26, 7 p.m.: “First Face of America” (60 min)
Thirteen thousand years ago, a teenage girl got lost and perished in an underground cave in what is now the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. The cave later flooded and was explored by cave divers who discovered her almost complete skeleton amidst the bones of Ice Age animals. As scientists examine her remains, a picture emerges of the life and death of one of the earliest people know to have lived in the Americas. This film is part of the NOVA series aired on PBS.

Saturday, Jan. 11, 1 and 3 p.m.: “John Brown’s Holy War” (90 min)
More than 150 years after his execution, questions remain – was John Brown a madman or a martyr, a bloodthirsty fanatic or a great American hero? Interviews with historians and writers, along with dramatic reenactments trace this man’s battle against the evil of slavery. This film is part of the American Experience series aired on PBS.

Thursday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m.: “Jamestown’s Dark Winter” (60 min)
When archaeologists find the remains of a young woman buried in a trash layer of a cellar, a picture emerges of how brutal life in the new colony could become. With the help of forensic anthropologists, the extraordinary and grim story of this young woman who lived 400 years ago is brought to light.  This film is part of the Secrets of the Dead series aired on PBS.
To top off a visit, or perhaps accomplish some holiday shopping, visitors also can stop in the museum’s gift shop, which has been freshly stocked with items made in West Virginia and souvenirs. Shoppers will find glassware, honey products, marbles, pottery and toys, along with Grave Creek Mound clothing and mugs, jewelry, science kits, rocks from around the world and more.

Guests can see the newly opened exhibits on Fostoria Glass and Marx Toys, both important industries in the Moundsville area. In addition, the museum’s featured artist, Garin Ardash of Pittsburgh, Pa, displays photographs of the Marble King mural, which is part of an exhibit on the Marble King company of Paden City, W.Va. The unique photographs were taken by manipulating the camera lens to capture patterns of light and color reflected in the over 47,000 Marble King marbles that make up a large image of the Marble King company logo.

Operated by the West Virginia Department of Arts, 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