MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will put the spotlight on the centennial of the United States’ entry into World War I with a documentary film titled Secret Tunnel Warfare and a lecture about recent discoveries that are providing a better understanding of the “war to end all wars.” The complex also will present a variety of art-themed activities for the entire family this April, including the continuation of the Marshall County Student Art Show and the extension of the featured artist exhibit, a new display created by students from Moundsville Middle School and another craft project at the Discovery Table. All events are free and open to the public.
Secret Tunnel Warfare, which follows historians and archaeologists as they investigate a network of secret tunnels excavated by the Allies underneath the German trenches,will be shown at 1 and 3 p.m. on Saturday, April 8, as part of the Second Saturday film series. The tunnels were used to detonate explosives under the German troops in an effort to gain an advantage in the brutal trench warfare of the time. Construction of the tunnels was harrowing work, with tunnelers at constant risk from flooding, cave-ins and enemy digging teams. The one-hour documentary is part of the NOVA series produced by the Public Broadcasting Service.
Hank D. Lutton, curator at Grave Creek Mound, will present the final World War I program, the lecture “Beneath the Poppies and Crosses: What Archaeology Reveals about the First World War” at 7 p.m., Thursday, April 27. The talk will examine new information, including forensic evidence, that is transforming our knowledge of how individual soldiers lived and died a century ago.
A registered professional archaeologist, Lutton specializes in historical archaeology, particularly urban sites of the 18th and early 19th centuries. He served as a project archaeologist with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation before coming to Grave Creek one year ago. He has had a lifelong fascination with World War I and is particularly drawn to learning how individuals experienced the war, as described in first-person accounts by participants such as aviators, ambulance drivers, physicians and nurses.
Art buffs can see the 35th Annual Marshall County Student Art Show through Saturday, April 8. The competitive exhibition of drawings, paintings, photographs, mixed media, sculpture and more was created by the county’s middle and high school students.
From April 22 through May 18, patrons can view An Artistic Observation of Adena Indian History. Students from Moundsville Middle School’s advanced art class, guided by teacher Joy Van Scyoc, have created prehistoric-themed artwork based on artifacts on display at the mound.
Ohio Valley Historic Figures, last month’s Featured Artist Exhibit by Alan Fitzpatrick of Wheeling, has been extended through April 22. His portraits of 18th-century Native Americans who lived in the Ohio Valley recreate the faces and emotions of people whom history has largely forgotten.
The museum’s Discovery Table invites visitors to make their own masterpiece using the paper and art supplies available throughout the month.
Visitors can tour the newest exhibits, The Buried Past: Artifacts from West Virginia’s Wild, Wonderful History, which showcases a series of West Virginia archaeological sites selected from the curation facility, and Prehistoric West Virginia, which features casts of some of the large Ice Age animals that once roamed West Virginia and an eight-foot tall fossilized mammoth leg, courtesy of Prehistoric Planet.
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.
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., and may be closed all day during inclement weather.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts, Gayle Manchin, cabinet secretary. 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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.
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