West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex Plans a Variety of Programs in March

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — This March, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville invites the public to several events, including Fossil Day, Marshall County Schools Celebration of the Arts, a postcard art project, and a film about the solar eclipse of 2017 in time for the one that will occur on April 8th of this year. All programs are free and open to the public.

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex kicks off its March programs on Saturday, March 2, with Fossil Day. This program runs from noon to 4 p.m. and the public is invited to bring fossils for expert identification by Dr. Elizabeth Rhenberg from the WV Geological and Economic Survey. Don’t have a fossil? A fossil display by members of the West Virginia Fossil Club will showcase some of their specimens as they answer questions about collecting fossils, and Taylor McCoy from Pittsburgh will display a collection of fossil casts titled “Teeth and Claws.” Family-friendly activities relating to fossils include making a fossil cast, viewing a tiny fossil insect through a microscope, and a museum hunt for prizes using fossil clues. New this spring, the folks from SMART-Center in Wheeling will join the program with a display titled “Life in the West Virginia Coal Swamp,” accompanied by a fossil identification challenge. The program concludes with a lecture by E. Ray Garton of Prehistoric Planet titled “Fossils, and Where to Find Them in West Virginia” beginning at 3 p.m. Visitors can also stop at the penitentiary across the street for the Business and Health Expo which is open 4 to 8 p.m. on Friday (March 1) and 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Saturday.

On Saturday, March 9, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex will host “Marshall County Schools Celebration of the Arts” from noon to 4 p.m. The event is a celebration of music and visual arts and includes activities for the kids. Musical performances will be provided by Marshall County students and volunteers will staff family-friendly arts and crafts tables. The event also includes the opening reception and ribbon cutting from 2to 4 p.m. for the “Annual Marshall County Student Art Show.” This exhibit of art created by Marshall County middle and high school students showcases a variety of artwork, including drawings, paintings, photographs and sculptures. It is organized and set up by the Cameron High School Art Club under the guidance of art teacher Amanda Jenree and will be judged for awards in several categories.  Visitors who view the exhibit during the opening reception can vote for “People’s Choice” awards. The “Marshall County Student Art Show” will remain on exhibit through Thursday, April 4.

2024 will be the year of a rare total eclipse of the sun in North America, with a partial eclipse visible in West Virginia on Monday, April 8. For those who would like to learn more about this type of event, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex will screen “NOVA: Eclipse over America,” a PBS documentary created in conjunction with the 2017 solar eclipse. The film is approximately 1 hour long and will be shown on Saturday, March 23 at 1 and 3 p.m.

Throughout the month, the museum’s Discovery Table will have post card blanks and art supplies available to visitors of the “Marshall County Student Art Show.” Guests can create their own masterpieces to take home or mail. The student’s creations will surely inspire artwork worthy of sharing with a friend or relative!

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 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Access to the Mound and other outdoor areas closes at 4:30 p.m., weather permitting.

For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or andrea.k.keller@wv.gov or visit www.facebook.com/gravecreekmound, and www.instagram.com/gravecreekmound.

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