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Prehistory

Welcome to the Prehistory news category at West Virginia Explorer, where you’ll find news and discussion of West Virginia in its prehistoric and protohistoric periods.

Strange carvings greeted early West Virginia explorers

Images of beasts and men decorate a boulder at the Half-Moon archaeological site, now submerged beneath the Ohio River.
When pioneers and other explorers first ventured into what would become West Virginia, they encountered artifacts of a much earlier age — carvings, burial...

Scholars debunk myth of prehistoric giants in West Virginia

An 1907 article in the Wheeling News helped popularize the ancient giants myth.
This month, I had the opportunity to talk with the lead curator at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex about a prevailing myth in West Virginia...

Kanawha Valley once had highest concentration of burial mounds

The South Charleston Mound, or Criel Mound, rises above central South Charleston.
The Kanawha Valley in West Virginia had one of the highest concentrations of burial mounds in North America, according to an archaeologist whose new...

Think you've found an archaeological site? Here's what to do next

Prehistoric mound at Boaz, WV, Wood County, Mid-Ohio Valley Region
Some of the most common requests fielded by the Council for West Virginia Archaeology come from members of the public who have found what...

Three little-known facts about West Virginia's moundbuilders

The Grave Creek Mound rises behind an early visitor center. Photo courtesy Charity Moore.
The term “moundbuilder” is often used to describe two ancient American cultures that are now known by archaeologists as the Adena and the Hopewell....

Scientists say mysterious carvings in W.Va. are native, not Irish

Historian David Sibray in the 1990s visits ancient inscriptions near Lynco, West Virginia.
Scientists who are studying ancient carvings in West Virginia say stories that propose a non-native origin for prehistoric landmarks ignore evidence and may dishonor...

Join WVExplorer prehistoric landmarks initiative!

Exploring Shawnee Park Mound near Dunbar, West Virginia, for Prehistoric Landmarks Initiative
Burial mounds, mysterious carvings, inexplicable stone walls -- relics of the prehistoric past are found throughout West Virginia, but perhaps too few people know...

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