June 17, 2010
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will begin a summer movie series on Thursday, June 24, at 7 p.m., in the auditorium of the Delf Norona Museum. The films, which will focus on archaeology, are free and open to the public.
The June film is entitled Red Salt and Reynolds (2003, 29 minutes). The film documents and interprets the historic archaeology at the Marmet Lock Replacement Project in Kanawha County. Congress authorized the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to build a larger lock at Marmet to accommodate modern barge traffic. Before construction could begin, the Huntington District of the USACE was required by the National Historic Preservation Act to consider the effects this project might have on historic properties, including significant archaeological sites.
Excavations uncovered the ruins of the John Reynolds antebellum salt plantation, including a slave cabin site, four salt furnaces, evidence of the mansion site and the cemetery where Reynolds and several members of his family were buried. The film, narrated by West Virginia native David Selby, uses historic and industrial archaeology, bioanthropology and historical documents to detail the rise and fall of the Reynolds’ family and local salt industry, which was once the largest salt producer in the country.
In addition to conducting the excavations, the USACE also funded the documentary, Red Salt and Reynolds. The film was a Telly Award Recipient and a Regional Emmy Award Nominee.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History has an exhibit on display in the State Capitol Building, titled Uncovering the Past: Archeology from the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers Marmet Locks Project, which features artifacts found during excavation. These artifacts will be housed and curated at Grave Creek Mound’s new research facility.
“Red Salt and Reynolds helps to illustrate the detective work and research that takes place with an ongoing archaeological investigation. It is a great film for bringing the thrill and excitement of archaeological discovery to life,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound.
The summer film series will continue on Thursday, July 29, and Thursday, August 26. The formal lecture series will resume on Thursday, September 30, with The Jackpot Rockshelter Mystery with David N. Fuerst, cultural resource specialist with the New River Gorge National River.
For more information about the film or lecture series, 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.
A new outdoor exhibit, The Interpretive Garden, was recently planted and features crops grown by Native Americans based on archaeological evidence.
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.