W.Va. - Darla Spencer, registered professional archaeologist, will present
"Early Native Americans in West Virginia: The Fort Ancient Culture"
at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville on Thursday, May 25.
The program begins at 7:00 p.m. and is free and open to the public.
hills and valleys of what is now West Virginia were occupied by native people
long before the first Europeans entered the Ohio Valley. Since Europeans came
to the area in the 1700s, historians, ethnologists, and archaeologists have
struggled to identify the people who once lived here. For many years, West
Virginia was described as an "Indian hunting ground" with no
long-term occupations by early native people. However, it is now known that
people hunted and inhabited the state for at least 10,000 years before the
arrival of Europeans. Along the major rivers, farmers cannot plow their fields
without exposing stone tools and other evidence of the native people who once
people known as Fort Ancient occupied the Ohio Valley including southern West
Virginia between approximately A.D. 1000 and sometime in the late 1600s.
Spencer's presentation will describe what is currently known about the Fort
Ancient people in West Virginia and their culture, including how and where they
lived, and show some of the material culture or artifacts they left behind.
Spencer has researched the archaeology and early Native American history of
West Virginia for more than 20 years. In 2002, she was awarded the Sigfus
Olafson Award of Merit by the West Virginia Archeological Society (WVAS) for
her contributions to West Virginia archaeology. Spencer is secretary and
treasurer of the WVAS and a member of the board of directors of the Council for
West Virginia Archaeology. Her first book on the Fort Ancient culture of West
Virginia was published in 2016.
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
Admission to Grave Creek Mound Archaeological
Complex is free. The Delf Norona Museum, located at 801 Jefferson
Avenue, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and closed
Sunday and Monday. Outdoor access closes at 4:30 p.m.
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the
Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts with Gayle Manchin, cabinet
secretary. The division, led by Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings
together the past, present and future through programs and services focusing on
archives and history, arts, historic preservation and museums. For more
information about the division’s programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org.
The Division of Culture and History is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action