Grave Creek Mound in Moundsville Adds To Exhibit

Photo by Drew Parker Hank Lutton, curator at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, explains new additions to “The Buried Past: Artifacts from West Virginia’s Wild and Wonderful History,” an exhibit at the complex.

The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is adding to its collection of ancient Native American artifacts.

In July, Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., visited the complex’s Delf Norona Museum to view “The Buried Past: Artifacts from West Virginia’s Wild and Wonderful History,” a new exhibit showcasing artifacts recovered from 10 historic Mountain State sites. Last week, the West Virginia Division of Culture and History delivered 250 artifacts and decor from the private collection of former Parkersburg resident Henry Kelly for the exhibit, which opened to the public Tuesday.

The department also provided five wall banners featuring various petroglyphs related to West Virginia’s history.

According to Hank Lutton, a curator at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex, most of the artifacts are from what is now Wood County and predate recorded history. He added the artifacts first were stored in Morgantown and then in Parkersburg before traveling to Moundsville.

“These artifacts are some of the earliest evidence of humans in West Virginia,” Lutton said. “Some of them are in the neighborhood of 11,000 to 12,000 B.C.”

Charles Morris, director of museums for the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, said the additions are important to the Moundsville exhibit.

“We conceptualized and completed the design and selected artifacts from various sites. The banner added to the design and draws people into the space when they walk into the museum,” Morris said. “We make sure anything we do for exhibition or preservation is not harming the items and that we are preserving them for future generations to come.”

Hutton added the museum may see updates this summer, near the end of the fiscal year. Results from geophysical surveys conducted on the mound by archaeologist Alex Corkum earlier this year also are expected to be completed by early 2017.

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