July 19, 2011
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will continue its 2011 lecture and film series at 7 p.m. Thursday, July 28, with a showing of “Secrets of the Valley: Prehistory of the Kanawha,” an archaeological documentary produced by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The film and lecture series is held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archaeological Society. The series is free and open to the public.
“Secrets of the Valley: Prehistory of the Kanawha” (2010, 28 minutes) is the third film funded by the Corps documenting West Virginia’s past. It was made by Paradise Film Institute at West Virginia State University, and documents 10,000 years of pre-European occupation in West Virginia. The film also presents the prehistoric archaeology the Corps conducted for the Marmet Lock Replacement Project in Belle, W.Va.
As part of that project, the Huntington District of the Corps was required by the National Historic Preservation Act to consider the effects this project might have on historic properties, including significant archaeological sites. The work resulted in the most extensive professional excavation in the history of the Kanawha Valley and recovered evidence for more than 10,000 years of human history. Highlights include the recovery of two points dating from the earliest known occupation in the Kanawha Valley (8,550 - 8,000 B.C.); a rare excavation of a buried Early Archaic site in West Virginia (8,000 - 6,000 B.C.); the excavation of a 15th-century fortified Late Prehistoric village with 24 houses; and the ruins of the John Reynolds antebellum salt plantation, including a slave cabin site, several salt furnace ruins and evidence of the mansion site. The local salt industry was once the largest salt producer in the country.
The Corps agreed to turn over care of approximately 450,000 historic artifacts recovered during its archaeological excavations at the Marmet Lock replacement project to the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. Most of the artifacts will be curated at the Research Center at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex.
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 and ranks as one of the largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. The Delf Norona Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. It is closed on Mondays.
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.