April 20, 2011
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its 2011 lecture and film series on Thursday, April 28, at 7 p.m., in the auditorium at the Delf Norona Museum. The program, entitled “Ohio’s Small Earthwork Sites: Tracking Them Down, Surveying Them with Geophysical Instruments and Making Some Surprising Discoveries,” will be presented by Dr. Jarrod Burks, director of geophysics at Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc. 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.
According to Archaeological Atlas of Ohio, almost 600 Native American Earthworks were located in Ohio. Today, only a few are known. Many of the smaller sites have been plowed flat over the years, or are inaccessible because they are located on private property. Burks will be examining a selection of small sites in south central Ohio through aerial photographs, topographic data, and data from geophysical surveys. The use of geophysical survey instruments allows archaeologists to look into the ground without needing to excavate, and can help locate and identify earthworks that cannot otherwise be detected. From previously undocumented sites to new discoveries at known sites, the smaller earthworks hold many surprises and offer a new dimension for mound research.
“This month’s lecture helps to illustrate the many high tech dimensions currently being used today in archaeology,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound. “Geophysical examination of archaeological sites is a fascinating aspect to modern archaeology.”
Ohio Valley Archaeology, Inc. is a private firm in Columbus, Ohio. Burks conducts ceramic analysis and electronic mapping for the company. He received his master’s degree and doctorate from Ohio State University. Burks has taught at Hocking College in Nelsonville, Ohio, served as archeology technician/museum collections manager at Hopewell Culture National Historic Park in Ross County, Ohio, and instructed a variety of workshops and classes.
The lecture is part of a year-long monthly series of presentations relating to archaeology and historic preservation activities in West Virginia and the surrounding region. Next month’s program, “People, Plants, Privies and Pits: Archaeobotanical Studies from West Virginia,” by Karen L. Leone of Leone Consultants, Ltd, will take place on Thursday, May 26.
For more information about the lecture and film series or other programs at Grave Creek Mound, 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 information of 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.
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 houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Curation 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.