Grave Creek Mound concludes film series
with documentary Searching for the Great Hopewell Road on Aug. 26
For more information about the film or lecture series, contact Andrea Keller, cultural programming coordinator, at (304) 843-4128, or e-mail her at [email protected]. Indicate in the message if you are interested in receiving notification of other upcoming programs at the mound.
August 12, 2010
Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will conclude its summer documentary series on Thursday, Aug. 26, at 7 p.m., in the auditorium of the Delf Norona Museum. The film series, which focuses on archaeology, is free and open to the public.
The August program features the documentary Searching for the Great Hopewell Road (1998, 57 min.) which explores new research into the monumental earthworks of the Ohio Hopewell people–Native Americans whose culture flourished in the central Ohio Valley about 2,000 years ago. The film is based on the investigations of Dr. Bradley Lepper, curator of archaeology for the Ohio Historical Society. Lepper has uncovered evidence that the Hopewell may have built a straight, wide 60-mile road between two of their greatest ceremonial centers at Newark and Chillicothe.
The film blends interviews with rare archival photographs, beautiful artifacts, stunning aerial photography and new computer animation for an unprecedented look at the magnificent legacies of the Hopewell people. Lepper used historic maps, Native American oral traditions, archaeological excavations and infrared photographs of the land to piece together a picture of the Great Hopewell Road.
In Ohio, the Hopewell people lived after the Adena, and many archaeologists view their culture as an elaboration on the Adena culture. Hopewell earthworks tended to be more refined, with multiple geometric arrangements of earth walls in addition to mounds, and burials with more intricate funerary artifacts.
“This film serves to illustrate the fact that there is so much we have yet to learn about past Native American cultures, and how fascinating they were,” said David Rotenizer, site manager at Grave Creek Mound.
The formal lecture series will resume next month on Thursday, Sept. 30, with David N. Fuerst, cultural resource specialist with the New River Gorge National River discussing The Jackpot Rockshelter Mystery.
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.
A new outdoor exhibit, The Interpretive Garden, was recently planted and features crops grown by Native Americans based on archaeological evidence.
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.