June 1, 2010
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, in cooperation with the Marshall County Master Gardeners program, will break ground for its new “Interpretive Garden” and sow seeds on Sunday, June 6, from 2 - 4 p.m. The seeds will be planted using historic Native American gardening techniques. The public is invited to participate in the free afternoon activities designed for the whole family.
In addition, visitors can view a display featuring authentic tools and artifacts used by West Virginia’s early Native Americans; grind corn using replica stone tools; assemble a sunflower jigsaw puzzle; and plant a sunflower seed in a cup and take it home.
The “Interpretive Garden” will showcase plants similar to those that were grown by prehistoric Native Americans in the region. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Adena people who built Grave Creek Mound grew sunflowers, squash, gourds and other plants with starchy seeds that many consider to be weeds today. Goosefoot, which grows in garden beds today, is one of the most well known of these starchy plants. The “Interpretive Garden” will include those examples, as well as corn or maize, and beans, which became important staples for Native Americans who lived in the area after the Adena people.
“I think this garden will become a popular annual feature at Grave Creek Mound. We appreciate the partnership with the Marshall County Master Gardeners program to help us quite literally, demonstrate history by growing it,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound. “It’s a fun and educational way to gain an appreciation for the role that agriculture has played in the history of human development,” he added.
For more information on the “Interpretive Garden,” and other programs, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at Grave Creek Mound, at (304) 843-4128 or e-mail her at Andrea.K.Keller@wv.gov. Indicate in the message if you are interested in receiving notification of other upcoming programs 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 which ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound by the Adena people took place in successive stages from 250-150 B.C. and required the movement of 57,000 tons of earth, approximately three million individual basket loads.
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 has a new wing which houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Curation Facility, as well as a study room for researchers and a library. Contact the complex for information regarding group registration and detailed driving directions. The museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays. Access to the mound and gift shop closes 30 minutes before the museum.
Visitors can also see four traveling exhibits on display, Women of Design: Embassies, Mansions, and Stately Homes–Pat Bibbee and Vivien Woofter; Marble King: the World’s Finest Marbles; Homer Laughlin China Company; and Ladies Fashion Dolls of the Nineteenth Century by Pete Ballard.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.