January 14, 2011
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will kick off its 2011 lecture and film series on Thursday, Jan. 27, at 7 p.m., in the activity room at the Delf Norona Museum. The program, entitled “Prehistory to Computer Age: A Pottery Primer,” will be presented by Betsy Cox, clay artist and owner-operator of Echo Valley Pottery, and Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at Grave Creek Mound. The series is held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archaeological Society. The lectures are free and open to the public.
The program will feature a combination of discussion and demonstrations, with displays of materials and artifacts. “Our speakers share a love of working with clay, which includes experimenting with pottery-making techniques, both prehistoric and modern,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound. “While prehistoric artifacts provide clues to ancient techniques and inspiration for new creations, modern knowledge and equipment can explain some of the ‘hows and whys’ of making pottery throughout the ages,” he continued. “I’m delighted to launch our second season of the series with this program on pottery, which has been such a dominant aspect to the archaeological record for a long time.”
Cox is a clay artist who operates and maintains her studio in Glen Dale, W.Va. Her works are primarily pit-fired, Raku, horse hair, saggar fired, wood-fired and traditional glazed pottery. She is a board member of Artworks, charter member of the American Potter’s Council and member of the West Virginia Craftsman’s Guild, the National Council on Education for Ceramic Arts and the American Ceramics Society.
Cox has sold her work at Tamarack, MountainMade and numerous other shops and galleries. Her pottery has been featured in Sterling Publishing’s Books, 500 Tiles and 500 Raku, due out this year, as well as various magazines and calendars.
Keller was a survey archaeologist for the West Virginia State Historic Preservation Office before coming to Grave Creek Mound. She also has worked as an archaeologist on projects in West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and other states. She has a long-standing interest in prehistoric pottery making and has experimented with hand-coiled pottery and open-pit firing techniques. Keller presented her experiences at the 1998 annual meeting of the Archaeological Society of Pennsylvania and in pottery demonstrations and programs at Grave Creek and other venues. A few of her recreated prehistoric pots are on display in the Delf Norona Museum.
For more information about the lecture and film series or other programs at Grave Creek Mound, 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 information of upcoming events at the mound.
“Prehistory to Computer Age: A Pottery Primer” is part of a year-long monthly series of presentations that share a common theme relating to archaeology and historic preservation activities in West Virginia and the surrounding areas. Next month’s program, entitled “Telling a Big Story: Preservation of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter” will take place on Thursday, Feb. 24, with David Scofield, director of the Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village in Avella, Pa.
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.
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.