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Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its 2011 lecture and film series at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 26, in the auditorium at the Delf Norona Museum. The program, titled “People, Plants, Privies and Pits: Archaeobotanical Studies from West Virginia,” will be presented by Karen L. Leone, owner and principal investigator of Leone Consulting Ltd., a paleoethnobotanical and archaeological consulting firm. The series is held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archaeological Society. The lectures are free and open to the public.

As an archaeobotanist, Leone studies plant materials from prehistoric and historic archaeological sites. These materials help reveal the environment and daily habits of the people who lived on these sites and how they adapted to their surroundings. Leone will discuss what archaeobotanists do and the significance of the botanical data they collect to their interpretations of prehistoric, historic and modern day human behaviors.

Leone’s specialty is the study of large botanical remains such as wood, nuts and seeds. She will focus on local sites including the prehistoric Bryan Site in Ohio County and the 19th century Cockayne Farmstead in Marshall County. Leone will discuss prehistoric plant species experimentally grown in garden plots by the Ohio Historical Society and the Interpretive Garden at Grave Creek Mound.

“This month’s lecture helps to illustrate how archaeobotany adds a unique dimension for better understanding the past,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound.

Leone is a nutritionist and holds a bachelor and master’s degree in anthropology from The Ohio State University. Before starting her own company, she served as director of paleoethnobotany and senior archaeologist at Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc.

The lecture is part of a year-long monthly series of presentations relating to archaeology and historic preservation activities in West Virginia and the surrounding region. Next month’s program, “Growing a Garden at Grave Creek: A Tour and Program of the New Interpretive Garden,” by Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at Grave Creek Mound, will take place at 7 p.m. Thursday, June 30.

For more information about the lecture and film series or other programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Keller at (304) 843-4128 or e-mail her at [email protected]. Indicate in the message if you are interested in receiving information of 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 www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.

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