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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.

Little-known facts about West Virginia's ancient moundbuilders

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

Some mysterious W.Va. rock features may have sacred origins

Cairn on a West Virginia ridge. Photo courtesy Charity Moore.
Editor's Note: If you're familiar with the outdoors in West Virginia, it's likely you've seen rocks piled in what might seem "the middle of...

Archaeologists: carvings in W.Va. of native origin, not Irish

Archaeologists agree the Luther Elkins Petroglyph at Lynco in Wyoming County is of native origin, not European.
Archaeologists in West Virginia say stories that propose a non-native origin for prehistoric landmarks in the Mountain State ignore facts and dishonor Native Americans. A...

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...

Ancient stone walls on Armstrong Mountain no old-timer's tale

A historic marker along U.S. 60 promotes the location of the Mount Carbon Walls.
If you grew up listening to the lore of old-timers in southern West Virginia, chances are you've heard of mysterious stone walls atop Armstrong...

Legend of Painted Trees and Indian warpath based on truth

Beech along Paint Creek
Most folk who live in the winding valley of Paint Creek in West Virginia have heard the legend — that the valley had been...

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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