MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its 2013 Lecture and Film series at 7 p.m., Thursday, March 28, with a presentation that focuses on methods of recovering botanical remains from archaeological sites and how they are processed and analyzed in the lab.
Amanda L. Valko, archaeology lab manager at Michael Baker Corporation, Beaver, Pa., will present “Paleoethnobotany: The Secret of Seeds.” The lecture is free and the public is invited to attend.
“Seeds are like a footprint from the past, and when studied, can reveal much about the lives of prehistoric people. They represent a fascinating aspect of archaeology,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound.
Prehistoric sites that can be thousands of years old and historic sites only a few years old are investigated using botanical clues. Valko will discuss materials found at the Wylie site, a prehistoric Monongahela site in Washington County, Pa., that dates to 1,000 through 1,500 A.D. The Wylie people depended on domestic and wild plants for survival. Plant remains also were found at the Reed Farmstead site, a small family farm that operated in Hardy County, W.Va., 200 years ago.
Valko specializes in the analysis of botanical materials recovered from archaeological sites. As part of her talk, she will bring samples of seeds used in her research so that participants can observe them up close. Valko has a master’s degree in anthropology from Kent State University, where she analyzed various dietary indicators to assess the nutritional status of the Monongahela people at the Wylie Site for her thesis.
The series will continue at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 25, with a talk titled “Recent Excavations at the Armory at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park” with Darlene Hassler Godwin and Justin Ebersole, archaeologists with the National Park Service.
For more information about the lecture, which is held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archaeological Society, or other programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or email her at Andrea.K.Keller@wv.gov. 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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