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Archaeologists discuss Harpers Ferry at Grave Creek

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Two archaeologists for the National Park Service will discuss recent discoveries unearthed at the Harpers Ferry Armory at 7 p.m. April 25 at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville.

Darlene Hassler Godwin and Justin P. Ebersole will discuss "Recent Excavations at the Armory at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park," as part of Grave Creek Mound's 2013 Lecture & Film Series. The program is free and the public is invited to attend.

Their presentation will include a brief history of the armory, its excavation, its importance in American history and its use of a water power system that included an underground tailrace tunnel.

The Harpers Ferry Armory, established in 1799, produced firearms for the federal government and was destroyed at the beginning of the Civil War.

The armory grounds were first excavated in 2005-2007. This program will concentrate on the most recent excavations conducted in 2011-2012. Prehistoric artifacts from the Archaic to the Woodland period were recovered eight feet below the ground. Historic artifacts found in the upper excavation levels tell the armory's story from its earliest days through its demolition in the 1890s. Recovered artifacts include prehistoric stone projectile points, pottery, firearm components, reused tools, gun flints, files, and gun flint caps.

Godwin holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., and is pursuing a master's degree in historic preservation at Goucher College in Baltimore.

Ebersole earned a bachelor's degree in archaeology from Boston University and participated in excavations at Holmul, Guatemala, from 2000 to 2004, where he discovered new Maya sites, excavated lower elite house mounds and conducted various documentation projects.

Both were recently honored with the 2013 John L. Cotter Award for Excellence in National Park Service Archaeology for their work at the armory.

The lecture series will continue at 7 p.m. May 30, with a talk titled "Early American Prehistory in the Middle Atlantic Area" presented by William Jack Hranicky, director of the Virginia Rock Art Survey.

For more information about the lecture or other programs at Grave Creek Mound, contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at 304-843-4128 or email her at Andrea.K.Keller@wv.gov. Indicate in the message if you are interested in receiving information about upcoming events at the mound.