Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex

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Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex

Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex
801 Jefferson Avenue
Moundsville, WEST VIRGINIA 26041

Contact phone: 304-843-4128
Fax: 304-843-4131
Web site:
Contact e-mail:
Latitude: 39.916
Longitude: -80.743

The Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex features the largest conical earthen mound in the New World. With a height of nearly 62 feet, and base diameter of 240 feet, it ranks as one of the largest mortuary mounds anywhere in the world, built by the prehistoric Native Americans attributed to the Adena cultural tradition. While not as large as some of the mounds in China and England, it is still a monumental earthen structure.  Construction of the mound took place in successive stages from about 250-150 B.C.  All the same, the fact that it required Native American labor to transport some three million basket loads to build the 57,000 ton mound is impressive.

The Mound is listed as both a National Historic Landmark and a property in the National Register of Historic Places.

Delf Norona Museum
Visitors to the complex can view exhibits and displays in the complex’s Delf Norona Museum which interpret what is known about the lives of these prehistoric people and the construction of the mound.  The museum also contains a gallery of rotating contemporary cultural and historic exhibits on loan from the West Virginia Division of Culture and History’s Culture Center in Charleston.  The museum opened in 1978.

West Virginia Archaeological Research Facility
In addition to the museum, the complex opened a 9,600-square-foot wing in 2008.   In addition to a state of the art collections storage area, the wing features an archaeological laboratory where curators process artifacts, study area for researchers, library, and a large observation window where the public can view the activity in the lab.  Millions of artifacts and records of archaeological excavations from throughout the State of West Virginia are stored and protected here to help interpret the state’s 12,000 year irreplaceable cultural heritage.  Those wishing to conduct research with the collections must call for appointment.

Auditorium, Activity Room, and Group Tours
The complex features a 136-seat theater, a large activity room, and space within gallery are available for rental for parties, wedding receptions, business meetings, and other events.  An interpretive lecture is available to groups by reservation.  The facility educational outreach program can arrange special activities for groups or various sizes.     

Hours and Days of Operation
The facility is open Tuesday – Saturday, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 12-5 p.m., Closed Monday.  Access to mound and gift shop closes each day at 4:30 p.m.  There is no admission fee.  Closed most major holidays.


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