Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will celebrate archaeology and the 30th anniversary of the Delf Norona Museum with family-oriented activities on Saturday, Oct. 11, from 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. and with a lecture by noted scholar Dr. David Oestreicher on Sunday, Oct. 12, at 2 p.m. The weekend events are timed to coincide with West Virginia Archaeology Month. All activities are free and the public is invited to attend.
On Saturday, the family-oriented program will include a museum hunt in which visitors can search for clues in the Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow exhibit, celebrating the history and future of the Complex. Susan Yoho, site manager at Grave Creek Mound, will be on hand to share her experiences on running an archaeologically-based museum.
Participants also can make small clay pots using techniques similar to West Virginia’s prehistoric people, reassemble broken replica pottery and play the “Guess the Artifact” game. In addition, there will be flintknapping demonstrations showing how stone was chipped into tools. A drawing also will be held to win special anniversary tee shirts.
Visitors are encouraged to view the exhibits at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in the Delf Norona Museum. They can see objects such as beads, pendants and pipes that have been drilled, stones that have been used to grind food and bone tools that have been sharpened for leather working. The pottery that visitors can make and the replica artifacts are based on the artifacts on display in the museum.
On Sunday, Dr. Oestreicher, an independent scholar from White Plains, N.Y., will present the lecture, “Forging the Grave Creek Stone: Who did it and How it was Done.” Ever since its discovery in the Adena burial mound in 1838 at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, the stone with its alleged alphabetical inscription has generated what many consider to be the biggest archaeological controversy of the 19th century. Most scholars dismiss the stone as a hoax, as it was uncovered during the most uncontrolled of excavations, yet no definitive evidence has ever emerged to settle the issue. Oestreicher will discuss newly uncovered documents which demonstrate that the stone is a fraud and will throw light upon the identity and motives of the forger.
Oestreicher is recognized as a leading authority on the Lenape (Delaware) and related tribes, having for years conducted research among the last tribal traditionalists. He is curator of the award-winning traveling exhibition, In Search of the Lenape: The Delaware Indians, Past and Present which the New York Times described as “an extended reverie,” capturing “the vitality and poignancy of the Lenape saga.” His writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals and books and he has completed the final portion of the late Herbert C. Kraft’s The Lenape/Delaware Indian Heritage: 10,000 B.C. - 2,000 A.D. which has been hailed by scholars as the seminal work on the Lenape. Oestreicher holds a master’s degree in Hebraic Studies from New York University and a master’s degree and doctorate in anthropology from Rutgers University. The lecture is presented in cooperation with the West Virginia Archeology Society.
For more information about the Archaeology Month program, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator for Grave Creek Mound, at (304) 843-4128, ext. 202, or e-mail her at [email protected]
Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features one of the largest and most famous burial mounds built by the prehistoric Adena people. A massive undertaking, construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C., and required the movement of more than 60,000 tons of earth. Exhibits and displays in the complex’s museum interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The Archaeological Complex is located at 801 Jefferson Ave., in Moundsville. Contact the museum for information regarding group registration and detailed driving directions. The museum is open to the public Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. Access to the mound closes 30 minutes before the museum.
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 Cultural Center in the State Capitol Complex in Charleston, which also houses the state archives and state museum. The Cultural 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.
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