Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its monthly lecture series on Thursday, April 29, at 7 p.m., in the auditorium of the Delf Norona Museum. The series is being held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archeological Society. The lectures are free and open to the public.
The April program is entitled The Art and Archeology of the Adena People. The talk will be presented by Dr. Robert F. Maslowski, who teaches at Marshall University Graduate College and serves as editor of the West Virginia Archeological Society’s journal West Virginia Archeologist. Maslowski will discuss the Adena people in terms of their art and burial practices. The Adena culture was active from approximately 500 B.C. to 200 A.D. These people were the first in what is now West Virginia to create works of art such as stone tablets, bird stones, and smoking pipes. They also were the first to be involved in extensive trade networks that provided copper from the Great Lakes and shells from the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.
“This lecture is especially pertinent here at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex because this mound was built by the Adena people,” says Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at the complex. “Examples of artifacts that demonstrate the artistic talents of the Adena as well as other prehistoric people who lived in our region can be seen in the Delf Norona Museum’s exhibits.”
“Our lecture series is designed to showcase the important ongoing research and interpretation regarding the Mountain State’s rich archaeological heritage,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at the complex. “Anyone interested in learning about current archaeology is welcome to share in the thrill and adventure of learning about the past,” he added.
A native of Weirton, Maslowski has lived in West Virginia most of his life. He served as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers archaeologist for the upper and middle Ohio River basin for more than 25 years. In this capacity, he was involved in several important projects including work at the locks and dams at Winfield, Marmet and Gallipolis. Maslowski has earned many distinctions for his archaeological contributions, including the Sigfus Olafson Award of Merit from the West Virginia Archeological Society in 1985, and “Distinguished West Virginian” in 2003.
For more information about the lecture, contact Keller 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.
The lecture series will continue on Thursday, May 27, with Darla I. Spencer discussing Evidence for Siouan-speaking Native Americans in Southern West Virginia before European Contact. An archaeological film series will be presented at the mound during the summer months.
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.