December 21, 2010
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville is celebrating the holiday season with a festive tree decorated with produce from the site’s first Interpretive Garden, and a “Snip a Snowflake” ornament activity for all family members. Visiting the museum and making an ornament is free and the public is invited to attend.
The Interpretive Garden Holiday Tree, large wreaths and garlands create a festive mood in the Delf Norona Museum. Visitors can see examples of the crops grown in the garden this year featured on the tree. The Interpretive Garden was planted with the help of the Marshall County Master Gardeners and members of Cub Scout Pack 128 from New Martinsville. The crops were chosen based on archaeological records and information on historic Native American gardening practices, and heirloom seeds were used. Core plants such as corn, beans and squash are represented as well as some lesser known plants.
Dried ears of corn, corn tassels, bean pods, sunflower seed heads, small ornamental gourds and sprigs of goosefoot are all abundant on the tree. And scattered underneath, visitors can see pumpkins, squash and gourds which also grew in the garden.
Although the Adena culture was not familiar with beans and corn, it probably was acquainted with sunflowers, some varieties of squash, sumpweed, maygrass, little barley and knotweed. Corn and beans became important parts of the prehistoric diet later. Charred remains of these plants have been found on prehistoric sites and visitors can see a sample of charred corn cobs in the Research Center’s observation window.
Participants are invited to visit the Discovery Table on the museum’s second floor and take part in the “Snip a Snowflake” activity by folding paper circles and snipping different shapes out of them. Large snowflakes can be hung on a window or wall and small snowflakes can be made into a greeting card with the materials provided. The second floor walls were decorated by museum visitors, staff and fourth grade students from Leona Middle School of Shadyside, Ohio. This activity is available to the public free of charge until Jan. 15.
For more information about programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 845-4128 or e-mail her at Andrea.K.Keller@wv.gov. Indicate in the message if you are interested in receiving information of other upcoming events 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. The complex also has a new wing which houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research Facility, as well as a study room for researchers and a library. 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.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts with Kay Goodwin, Cabinet Secretary. The Division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more information about the Division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.