MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its 2012 lecture and film series May 31, 2012, with a historical overview of the archaeological research in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave, the longest cave system in the world.

Patrick D. Trader, principal investigator at Gray and Pape Inc., an archaeological consulting firm in Cincinnati, will present “Exploring the Dark Zone: Archaeological Investigations at Mammoth Cave” at 7 p.m. in the auditorium at the Delf Norona Museum. The lecture is free and open to the public.

With more than 390 miles of explored passages, Mammoth Cave has been used by human beings since prehistoric times.

Trader earned bachelor and master’s degrees in anthropology from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He worked for archaeological consulting firms in the Midwest, Great Plains, Ohio Valley, and Mid-Atlantic regions and served as senior archaeologist at West Virginia’s State Historic Preservation Office. He has been a principal investigator at Gray and Pape the past six years. Before that, he worked at the University of Kentucky’s Program for Archaeological Research, where he conducted archaeological investigations at Mammoth Cave in the summer of 2002. His presentation is based on discoveries made during these investigations, and builds on previous archaeological work conducted in the cave.

The 2012 lecture and film series continues Thursday, June 28, 2012, when Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, will lead an outdoor tour of the complex’s Interpretive Garden followed by a slide show with highlights from last year’s garden.

For more information about the lecture and film series, which is held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archaeological Society, contact Keller at or (304) 843-4128. Indicate in the message if you are interested in receiving information about upcoming events at the mound.

Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek features one of the largest conical burial mounds in the New World 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 Curation Facility, a study room for researchers and a library. The museum is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.

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 The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.