News…

MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. – Fossils will be highlighted in the second annual “Fossil ID Day” at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville. The program will take place from noon to 4 p.m., on Sunday, Feb. 24, to help fossil buffs identify their stash of relics. The program is free and the public is invited to attend.

Visitors are invited to bring their fossils and meet Ron McDowell, senior research geologist and head of the Geoscience Section at 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. He will provide expert identifications and answer questions. McDowell holds a Ph.D. in geology from the Colorado School of Mines, Golden, Colo.

Grave Creek Mound will offer hands-on family activities provided by museum volunteers and members of the West Virginia Fossil Club. Visitors can view a fossil display, books, posters and an indoor fossil dig, in which real fossils can be discovered. They also can receive a coloring page featuring West Virginia’s official state fossil, the giant ground sloth known scientifically as Megalonyx jeffersonii. New activities include making a geological time line using a 10-foot long paper ribbon, and a scavenger hunt with clues hidden throughout the program area.

“The Fossil ID Day program is a popular event for kids of all ages. I’m grateful for our partnership with the WVGES and the West Virginia Fossil Club,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound. For more information about “Fossil ID Day” or other programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at Grave Creek Mound, at (304) 843-4128 or email her at [email protected]. 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 built by the Adena people between 250-150 B.C. 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. The museum is open 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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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