Nov. 18, 2019
MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. — The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex celebrates Native American Heritage Month with Jay Toth, retired tribal archeologist, who will present a lecture titled “Symbolism Embodied in the Cultural Landscapes of Native American Mounds and Effigy Mounds.”
Effigy mounds consist of earth that was piled up to form the shape of a stylized animal, human, symbol or other figure and often contain human burials. Other mounds were shaped to form a geometric shape such as a cone or rectangular platform. Their visibility in the landscape invites contemplation of what meaning they may have had to the prehistoric Native Americans who constructed them.
Toth received his B.A. and M.A. in anthropology from Youngstown State University. In addition, he has an M.S. from the University of Cincinnati and did his doctoral work at the University of Pittsburgh. He worked in tribal historic preservation the past 16 years. He facilitated the purchase of the canoe made by members of the Seneca Nation that is on display in the Delf Norona Museum, as well as a donation of blueberry and pawpaw plants by the Seneca that were planted on the museum’s grounds.
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 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Outdoor access closes at 4:30 p.m.
For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.facebook.com/gravecreekmound and www.twitter.com/gravecreekmound.
***ATTACHED PHOTOGRAPH CUTLINE: Jay Toth holds scale model of bird effigy mound at the Ho-Chunk bison farm in Muscoda, WI. Photo courtesy of Jay Toth.