Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will celebrate Archaeology Month with a program at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, in the Delf Norona Museum titled “The Archaeological Conservancy in the Midwest.” The talk will feature Josh McConaughy, associate director of the Midwest Region of the Archaeological Conservancy. The program is part of Grave Creek Mound’s monthly film and lecture series that is held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archaeological Society. The series is free and open to the public.

McConaughy will present a brief history of the Archaeological Conservancy, which started as a three-person operation in 1980 and has grown into a national organization with more than 23,000 members. The organization’s main mission is to preserve threatened archaeological sites, often by purchasing them, and then working with local groups to maintain and protect them. The conservancy has saved more than 400 sites in 41 states. It also publishes the magazine American Archaeology, which features articles written with the layperson in mind and covers some of the newest developments in American archaeology and some of the conservancy’s own preservation projects.

The conservancy has worked on several sites in West Virginia, including the Boaz Mound in Wood County, the O’Dell Mounds in Nicholas County, the Reynolds Mound in Pleasants County and Fort Edwards in Hampshire County.

The conservancy is the only national non-profit organization dedicated to acquiring and preserving the best of the country’s remaining archaeological sites. Based in Albuquerque,. N.M., it also operates regional offices in Mississippi, Maryland, Ohio and California.

McConaughy holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, and has worked for the conservancy for more than three years.

“The Archaeological Conservancy is an incredible organization, and this month’s program dovetails nicely into West Virginia Archaeology Month, which promotes awareness and appreciation for our fragile archaeological heritage,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek.

Next month’s program is titled “An Astronomer’s Look at Grave Creek Mound and its Environs” by Dr. Francis Graham and will be held on Thursday, Nov. 17.

For more information about the lecture and film series or other programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at Grave Creek Mound, at (304) 843-4128 or e-mail her at 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 Mound Archaeological Complex features the largest conical burial mound in the New World and ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. The Delf Norona 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 The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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