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Archaeologist examines elusive West Virginia Native Americans in new book

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 Archaeologist examines elusive West Virginia Native Americans in new book

“Early Native Peoples in West Virginia: The Fort Ancient Culture” by West Virginia University Native American studies professor Darla Spencer, examines what archaeologists do know about the Fort Ancient culture. Not much is known about the Native Americans that inhabited West Virginia. The Fort Ancient people lived along the state’s major rivers between roughly AD 1,000 and 1,700, but by the time the first Europeans settled in the Ohio Valley and Kanawha Valley, they were gone. 

 Quotes and Comments:

“I would hope that the people who read it get a sense of who these people that archaeologists call Fort Ancient were, and that they thrived along the river valleys in southern West Virginia for hundreds of years. They led rich full lives here, farming, hunting, fishing and gathering nuts and berries for sustenance. However, artifacts found also show that they had time for recreation. Gaming pieces and musical instruments, such as turkey leg bone flutes and animal bone rasps, have been found that suggest they played games and made music.”

--Darla Spencer 

Target Audiences:

• Communities around the areas the book highlights

• Economic developers and community planners

• Amateur genealogists searching for Native American roots

• Native American researchers


Three images are available for download.

Link to original story here.


Devon Copeland
Director of Marketing and Communications
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences