MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville continues its celebration of West Virginia Archaeology Month on Thursday, Oct. 27, with a lecture by Michael J. Sherwin titled “Vanishing Points: Revisiting America’s Indigenous Landscape,” as well as a book signing. The program begins at 7 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
Additional West Virginia Archaeology Month offerings include free Archaeology Month posters, featuring some of the state’s frontier forts and making a stratigraphy bookmark for a favorite archaeology book. Both are available through October during regular museum hours while supplies last.
In 2011, Sherwin discovered that a Morgantown shopping center had been built on an 800-year-old village site and sacred Indigenous American burial ground. He felt compelled to photograph the scene and the resulting image sparked a decades-long research project that took him across the country. In July 2021, Sherwin published his first major monograph, “Vanishing Points.” His presentation explores his personal motivation behind the Vanishing Points project and reflects on important historical events associated with Indigenous land rights. He will also bring the camera he uses for his art and will have copies of his book available for sale, along with a book signing after his presentation.
Sherwin is an artist currently based in the Appalachian Mountains of northern West Virginia. From an early age, he found inspiration in the phenomena of the physical world and has spent most of his life exploring and seeking wild places, including nine years in the American West. He has won numerous grants and awards for his work and has exhibited widely, including recent exhibitions at the Atlanta Contemporary Arts Center, Morris Museum of Art, Huntington Museum of Art and the Center for Fine Art Photography among others.
Sherwin earned an MFA from the University of Oregon in 2004, and a BFA from The Ohio State University in 1999. Currently, he is an associate professor of art in the School of Art and Design at West Virginia University and coordinator for the Photography and Global Positioning Studies programs. He is also an active and participating member of the Society for Photographic Education and the lead instructor for West Virginia University’s Jackson Hole Photography Workshop.
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 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Access to the Mound and other outdoor areas closes at 4:30 pm.
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.