Grave Creek Mound presents family activities throughout May

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville will close out the month of May with a flurry of programs beginning Saturday, May 21. All activities are free and open to the public.
From 2-4 p.m. on Saturday, May 21, Alexander Corkum will demonstrate and explain remote sensing techniques he is using to study Grave Creek Mound. Corkum will be at Grave Creek the last two weeks in May, using high-tech methods such as earth resistivity tomography, topographic surveying, ground penetrating radar and photogrammetry. These techniques have the potential to reveal new information about the site without damaging any of the physical aspects of the mound. Corkum is a doctoral student from Connecticut who is studying at the School of Archaeological Sciences at the University of Bradford in West Yorkshire, UK.
The museum’s monthly lecture and film series will continue at 7 p.m., on Thursday, May 26, with David N. Fuerst’s talk “The Historic Beckley Grist Mill, Raleigh County, West Virginia.” Fuerst will tell the story of Alfred Beckley, a man who inherited thousands of acres of wilderness in western Virginia in the late 1830s and built his family home and grist mill in the area that became Beckley.
The talk is based on work performed by Fuerst, National Park Service archaeologist and historian, and Dr. Thomas Lemke, National Park Service volunteer, at the New River Gorge National River in 2014. The historical and archaeological study of the grist mill site demonstrated its significance, and the site is now in the process of being nominated to the National Register of Historic Places.
On Saturday, May 28, the first of two garden planting afternoons will take place from noon to 4 p.m. Visitors can use a replica of a prehistoric stone garden hoe to plant seeds, a traditional gardening method of some Native American groups. The Interpretive Garden will showcase plants similar to those that were grown by prehistoric Native Americans in the region. Archaeological evidence suggests that the Adena people who built Grave Creek Mound grew sunflowers, squash, gourds and other plants with starchy seeds.
A variety of indoor family activities also will take place, including craft projects at the museum’s Discovery Table. Visitors can plant sunflower seeds in cups, decorate them with sunflower labels and take them home to grow in their own garden. This activity will be available through June 4, the day of the second planting session.
The museum is also showcasing two art exhibits. The featured artist of the month is Jacob L. Bucy, who has a collection of abstract drip paintings on display throughout May. Bucy lives in Paden City, and draws inspiration for his work in the universe and nature. Historic Marshall County: A View in Charcoal, an exhibit by students at Moundsville Middle School, is up through May 28. Coordinated by Joy Van Scyoc, art teacher at the school, the show features charcoal drawings of local historic buildings and locations.
For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or andrea.k.keller@wv.gov or visit www.facebook.com/gravecreekmound and www.twitter.com/gravecreekmound.
Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features one of the largest conical burial mounds built by the Adena people between 250-150 B.C. and 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 also houses the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Collections Management Facility.
Admission to Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is free. The Delf Norona Museum, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue, is open from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, and closed Sunday and Monday. Outdoor access closes at 4:30 p.m., and may be closed all day during inclement weather.

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