January 22, 2010
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville is launching a new monthly lecture series to be held in the 136-seat auditorium in the Delf Norona Museum. Topics will have a common theme relating to current archaeology and historic preservation activities in West Virginia and the surrounding area. The programs are being held in conjunction with the Upper Ohio Valley Chapter of the West Virginia Archeological Society. The lectures will begin at 7 p.m., and are free and open to the public.
David E. Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound says, “This program series is designed to help showcase archaeology as an active and ongoing endeavor in the Mountain State.” He added, “Discoveries are being made every day and this series will help bring them to life. We want folks to share in the thrill and adventure of learning about archaeology.”
The first lecture will be on Thursday, Jan. 28, featuring Aaron Smith, archaeologist with the Huntington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). His talk is entitled Recent Preservation Activities Conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers at the Jenkins House in Green Bottom, West Virginia.
The Jenkins Plantation Museum, located in the Green Bottom Wildlife Management Area of Cabell County, is owned by the USACE and operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History. The facility was closed in August 2008 while undergoing preservation actions by the USACE. Actions include repointing the masonry, roofing work, window replacement and moisture infiltration, among others. The work done is intended to preserve the original characteristics of the house.
The museum is the former home of Confederate Brigadier General Albert Gallatin Jenkins and it interprets the large slave plantation operated by the Jenkins family. The 1835 home, built in the tradition of Tidewater, Va., is noteworthy for its architecture and was built by slaves between 1830 and 1835 for Jenkins’ father, William, a shipping industrialist. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places and on the Civil War Discovery Trail. Smith will discuss the recent stabilization and restoration work that the USACE is conducting.
The lecture series will continue on Thursday, Feb. 25, with Jamie Vosvick and Jennifer Carroll discussing A Brief Summary of the Excavations at the Bryan Site A(46OH65), an Upland Monongahela Hamlet Site, in Ohio County, West Virginia. Future sessions will take place on Thursday, March 25, with Roger B. Wise, on Some Recently Reported Stone Cairns in West Virginia; Thursday, April 29, with Dr. Robert F. Maslowski, on The Art and Archaeology of the Adena; and Thursday, May 27, with Darla I. Spencer on Evidence for Siouan-Speaking Native Americans in Southern West Virginia before European Contact.
For more information about the lecture series, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator at Grave Creek, at (304) 843-4128 or e-mail her at [email protected]. Indicate in the e-mail message if you are interested in receiving notification of other upcoming events at Grave Creek 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 built by the Adena people. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound 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 should note that during the winter months, access to the mound may be limited due to ice, so they are encouraged to call in advance.
Visitors can also 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.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History, an agency of the West Virginia Department of Education and the Arts, brings together the state’s past, present and future through programs and services in the areas of archives and history, the arts, historic preservation and museums. Its administrative offices are located at the Culture Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Culture Center is West Virginia’s official showcase for the arts. The agency also operates a network of museums and historic sites across the state. For more information about the Division’s programs, visit www.wvculture.org. The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer.