October, 18, 2010
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will resume its annual lecture series on Thursday, Oct. 28, 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 October program is entitled The Earliest Americans: Current Perspectives on Paleoamerican Origins, Arrivals, and Life Ways. The talk will be presented by Dr. Jerry N. McDonald of the Virginia Museum of Natural History and McDonald & Woodward Publishing Company.
The lecture will review what is known about the arrival, source areas, material culture, and economic activities of North America’s Paleoamericans (approximately 45,000 - 12,000 B.C.). It also will offer insight regarding the more complex Paleoamerican sites, and conclude with thoughts about research frontiers associated with documenting and defining the history of these early North Americans.
McDonald has a doctorate in geography from the University of California in Los Angeles; a master’s degree in geography from the University of Texas in Austin; and a bachelor’s degree from Muskingum College in New Concord, Ohio. During his career, he has served as a visiting assistant professor at the department of geological sciences at the University of Texas at El Paso, assistance professor and associate professor in the department of geography at Radford University in Radford, Va., among others. Currently he is managing partner at McDonald and Woodward Publishing Company in Granville, Ohio. In addition, McDonald is co-author of Indian Mounds of the Middle Ohio Valley: A Guide to the Mounds and Earthworks of the Adena, Hopewell, Cole, and Fort Ancient People, a guide book often used to explore the mounds between Louisville and Pittsburgh.
McDonald’s’ research interests include Late Quaternary large mammal classification, evolution, and zoogeography, the branch of science that is concerned with the geographic distribution of animal species. He also studies Quaternary paleoecology and extinctions of large-bodied vertebrates; conservation and management of threatened and endangered animal species and ecosystems; traditional ecology and geography of Native Americans; and identification, analysis and conservation of natural and cultural landscapes.
“This lecture is part of our celebration of West Virginia Archaeology Month,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound. “The subject matter touches upon the detailed research that has been done to interpret the early human history of North America.”
For more information about the lecture, 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.
The lecture series will conclude on Nov. 18 with The Resurgence of Anikituwa: Language and Cultural Revitalization among the Eastern Band Cherokee by Travis L. Henline, site manager at West Virginia Independence Hall in Wheeling.
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 also can 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.