West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture & History

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex to host Fossil Day on Saturday, Sept. 21


MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will hold the second biannual Fossil Day of 2019 on Saturday, Sept. 21, from noon to 4 p.m. The program is free and open to the public.  

Visitors are invited to bring fossils for expert identification by Dr. Ronald McDowell, senior research geologist of the West Virginia Geological and Economic Survey (WVGES) in Morgantown. McDowell specializes in invertebrate paleontology, the study of large and small fossil animals that do not have an internal skeleton, and holds a Ph.D. in geology from the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo.

The program includes activities for the whole family, such as a treasure hunt in the exhibit Prehistoric West Virginia: West Virginia Fossils, on loan courtesy of the curators and owners of the exhibit, E. Ray and Mary Ellen Garton of Prehistoric Planet. Successful “hunters” will be awarded a prize. Prehistoric West Virginia includes casts of large fossils such as a mastodon skull, and a microscope will be set up to view a fossilized insect the size of a pepper grain. Visitors also can excavate a “fossil bed” that was created during the March Fossil Day and create a model of a coral polyp.

The documentary film “Making North America: Life,” will play in the museum’s auditorium at 1, 2 and 3 p.m. The one-hour program demonstrates how the North American fossil record tells the story of the rise of life, including the dinosaurs. It is part of the NOVA series aired on PBS.

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.twitter.com/gravecreekmound.

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.



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