MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville begins the summer season with a birthday celebration for the Mountain State, a visit from the Dineh Tah’ Navajo Dancers, a lecture about a 19,000-year-old archaeological site, and up-cycling plastic bottles into imaginative summertime bugs. All programs are free and open to the public.

West Virginia celebrates its 161st birthday on Thursday, June 20. Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex will join other local historical sites, including the Marshall County Historical Society Museum, the Cockayne Farmstead, the Fostoria Glass Museum, and the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library in celebrating the occasion. Light refreshments will be available at the Complex, where visitors can also make a West Virginia fan in preparation for the summer heat. The Complex is also the starting point of the “Adventure Begins at Your Library” scavenger hunt organized by the Moundsville-Marshall County Public Library. The scavenger hunt features 11 historic locations in Moundsville and will run from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The last stop will be at the library, where each person who answers all 11 questions will win a prize and be eligible for a drawing for a larger prize.

Grave Creek is once again honored to receive a visit from the Dineh Tah’ Navajo Dance Troupe who will perform on Saturday, June 22. The event begins at 11:30 a.m. with a lecture by Shawn Price, tradition keeper and director of the troupe, who will talk about the Navajo Code Talkers who served in World War II. The lecture will be followed by a performance of traditional Navajo dances at 1:30 p.m. Afterwards, free food samples will be offered by the Native American Indian Center of Central Ohio (NAICCO) Native Cuisine Food Truck. The food samples will be offered first-come, first-serve and visitors will need to get tickets at the door. 

At 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 29, David Scofield, director of Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, will present a lecture titled “Meadowcroft Rock Shelter: A Half-Century of Prehistoric Preservation.” After 50 years, Meadowcroft continues to be a site of ongoing archaeological study as well as a heritage tourism attraction. Scofield will share the challenges and successes of preserving the open rockshelter excavation for future scientific investigation while maintaining public access and providing educational programming at the site’s newly renovated museum. This program is the second of three historic preservation themed lectures. The third, titled “How West Virginia’s Office of Abandoned Minelands Preserves West Virginia’s Coal Mining History” will be presented by Jeffery Davis, WVDEP-AML regional planning supervisor, southern district, at 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 20.

What would summer be without insects such as fireflies that light up the night, butterflies that miraculously emerge from cocoons made by caterpillars, busy bees, and even ants and mosquitos?  Visitors are invited to make “Bottle Bugs” by up-cycling plastic bottles using craft supplies such as pipe cleaners, construction paper and googly eyes, along with their own imagination. This activity is available daily at the museum’s Discovery Table during regular business hours during the month of June.

Operated by the West Virginia Department of Arts, 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 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Access to the Mound and other outdoor areas closes at 4:30 p.m., weather permitting.

For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or or visit,  and