MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will present the lecture “West Virginia Archaeology and the Veterans Curation Project” at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 31. The talk is part of its monthly lecture and film series held in conjunction with the monthly meetings of the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the Virginia Archeological Society. The talk is free and open to the public.
Rodney Parker, archaeologist and tribal liaison with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Huntington District, will discuss the Veterans Curation Project, which employs post-9-11 veterans to describe, process, and curate archaeological and historical collections held bythe corps.
Since its establishment in 2009, this unique program has provided temporary employment and training to more than 241 veterans. They learn computer skills, including database and records management, software proficiency, and gain experience in photographing and scanning technologies, which are valuable assets in the workforce. The veterans also are trained to preserve, label, repackage, catalog and record archaeological collections from various projects like excavations that took place before the installation or expansion of various locks and dams along the Ohio River and other waterways. The project provides veterans with job skills, and in turn, they work to preserve the nation’s archaeological heritage.
Grave Creek Mound serves as the repository for the collections of the Corps’ Huntington District. In 2014, the collections were transferred to the Veterans Curation Program’s facility in Alexandria, Va., where they are processed. The program is seeking Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom veterans, veterans with service connected disabilities, and other recently separated veterans to work in its labs in Alexandria, Va., Augusta, Ga., and St. Louis, Mo.
Before coming to Huntington, Parker worked for the Corps’ Little Rock and Vicksburg Districts, and at several cultural resource firms in the Northeast Mid-Atlantic region. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Salisbury University and a master’s degree in anthropology from the University of Mississippi. He has presented programs to numerous universities, elementary schools and Boy Scout troops working on merit badges. Parker’s primary areas of interest are African diaspora archaeology and historic preservation law.
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.