MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will celebrate Native American Heritage Month this November with a host of activities for the whole family, including an exhibit opening, lecture, film, book signing and discovery table craft projects. All activities are free and open to the public.
On Saturday, Nov. 5, from 2 – 5 p.m., events will kick off with an opening reception for Eric Dye, the featured artist of the month. Dye, a native West Virginian, has a home studio in Moundsville. His Native American-themed paintings and sculptures, plein air paintings, figure studies and still life works will be on display through Nov. 30.
The West Virginia Archeological Society (WVAS) will hold its annual meeting at the mound on Saturday, Nov. 12. Several archaeologists working in West Virginia will present papers reporting on their latest research. Darla Spencer, an archaeologist with an extensive background in West Virginia archaeology, will conduct a book signing for her new book, Early Native Americans in West Virginia: The Fort Ancient Culture. Registration begins at 8 a.m. and the public is welcome to attend. There is a $7 fee for WVAS members, $10 for non-members and $5 for students. Preregistration is recommended by contacting Spencer at (304) 561-4753 or [email protected].
The museum’s “Second Saturday” film, After the Mayflower, will be shown at 1 and 3 p.m. on Nov. 12 and again on Saturday, Nov. 19. at 1 and 3 p.m. The 90-minute film is a chapter of We Shall Remain: America Through Native Eyes. It was produced by WGBH Boston as part of Public Broadcasting Service’s American Experience series. The film views events through Native American eyes, from the arrival of the Pilgrims in New England and the first Thanksgiving to diplomatic negotiations, peaceful coexistence and eventual war.
Christopher B. Chaney will present a lecture at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 17, titled “The Trail of Tears Experience of Ohio’s Iroquois.” Chaney will discuss how the Seneca and Shawnee tribal peoples living in Ohio were forcibly removed from their homes and endured deprivation and death on the Trail of Tears in 1832. Upon arriving in Oklahoma, the tribal members forged a new way of life only to face more hardship with the Civil War. One of the leaders of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation was Quashacaugh, also known as Lewis Davis, who was Chaney’s great-great grandfather. Chaney is a member of the Seneca-Cayuga Nation and lives in West Virginia where he serves as the unit chief at the Criminal Justice Information Law Unit of the FBI Office of the General Counsel.
The Discovery Table will have craft projects, including the “Ring-and-Pin Game” through Nov. 12, which visitors can make from squash grown in the museum’s Interpretive Garden. From Nov. 15 and continuing throughout the holiday season, patrons can make a seed ornament, with seeds from the Interpretive Garden.
Visitors are invited to tour the newest exhibits at the museum. Prehistoric West Virginia, features casts of some of the large Ice Age animals that once roamed in West Virginia, including skulls of the saber-tooth cat and dire wolf. There are casts of the short-faced bear, giant ground sloth and an eight-foot tall fossilized mammoth leg. The exhibit also showcases a Dimetrodon, a mammal-like reptile that predated the first dinosaurs by several million years.
The Buried Past: Artifacts from West Virginia’s Wild, Wonderful History showcases West Virginia archaeological sites and represents a wide range of people, places and time. Prehistoric Native Americans are represented in the Saint Albans, Fairchance, Saddle, Mount Carbon and Buffalo exhibit cases. Early settlers are represented by frontier fort sites Warwick’s Fort and Arbuckle’s Fort, and a frontier cabin excavated at the Hevener Site. Excavations on Blennerhassett Island focus on the time when the Blennerhassett family lived there in their mansion. The Civil War is represented by Camp Allegheny, and a look at the Victorian Era is provided through excavations at the United States Federal Building and Courthouse in Wheeling.
For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or [email protected] 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 West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, 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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