July 19, 2010
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its summer movie series on Thursday, July 29, 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 July program features three short documentaries produced by the Kentucky Heritage Council and the Kentucky Archaeological Survey. Ancient Fires at Cliff Palace Pond documents landmark research at Cliff Palace Pond, an archaeological site in Kentucky’s Daniel Boone National Forest. Excavations at a rockshelter and the study of soil cores from a nearby pond have revealed how Native Americans have used fire to manage their environment for more than 3,000 years. The film also demonstrates how researching the past pertains to today’s forest management techniques, which include controlled burns.
Adena People: Moundbuilders of Kentucky features people who might have been distant relatives of the people who built Grave Creek Mound, as evidenced by the types of artifacts and earthworks they left behind. It also shows examples of Adena mounds and artifacts as well as scenes that show how stone tools, pottery, and grass mats were made, and how food was prepared.
The third film, Saving a Kentucky Time Capsule, documents how dozens of ancient American Indian mud glyphs, or drawings, have been preserved inside a Kentucky cavern. The glyphs were created deep inside the cavern. It also details how archaeologists are protecting these mysterious works of art for future generations.
“As one of West Virginia’s neighboring states, Kentucky’s archaeology has many parallels with that of the Mountain State, especially since the Ohio river served as a transportation route that united people for many thousands of years as opposed to being a border between states as it is now,” said Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at Grave Creek Mound.
The summer film series will conclude next month on Thursday, Aug. 26, and focus on archaeology in Ohio. 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 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.
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.