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Grave Creek Mound: Adena monumental architecture

Photos from my visit to Moundsville, West Virginia

I visited the Grave Creek Mound and adjoining Delf Norona Museum this past Saturday (02 May 2015). I unreservedly recommend a visit to anyone with the slightest bit of interest in (pre)history, commemoration, and/or museology and who happens to find themselves in the general vicinity of Wheeling. Give yourself an hour or so to climb the mound and tour the modest exhibitions, then indulge yourself with an ice cream at the kitschy place across the street.

The physical address is 801 Jefferson Ave, Moundsville, West Viginia; GPS coordinates are 39.91690 -80.74352.


Northern side of Grave Creek Mound.


The mound has been a tourist attraction for over a century and a half, and a set of steps winds up to its summit, currently 62ft/19m from its base.


Moundsville Bridge over the Ohio River viewed from the summit. An artillery piece was stationed atop the mound during the Civil War.


View of the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex (looking NE) from the summit of the mound. A symbolic “moat” accompanied the first stage of mound construction and constrained the base for future construction episodes. As a result, the mound is steep!


Hemmings, E. Thomas. 1984. “Investigations at Grave Creek Mound 1975–76: a sequence for mound and moat construction.” West Virginia Archeologist 36 (2):3–49.

Maslowski, Robert F. 2009. “Grave Creek Mound Historic Site.” In Archaeology in America: an encyclopedia, edited by Linda S. Cordell, Kent G. Lightfoot, Francis P. McManamon, and George R. Milner, 92–95. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press.

Schoolcraft, Henry R. 1845. “Observations respecting the Grave Creek Mound in western Virginia.” In Transactions of the American Ethnological Society, 1:[367]–420 + 2 pl.


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