A Day in the Life of an Archaeological Curator

Happy DoA 2013, everyone (and thank goodness it’s Friday)!  🙂

A day in the life of an archaeological curator at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex (GCMAC) in Moundsville, WV is certainly never boring.  This is largely because the job isn’t simply being an Archaeological Curator…I also serve as our research library indexer, cleaning staff, and occasional gift shop manager!   Working at a multi-component facility consisting of an Adena burial mound, interpretive museum, and the WV state collection facility requires you to wear a lot of different hats in order for the public to experience an engaging and educational visit.  Every day is filled with new challenges and I wouldn’t have it any other way!

Today is no exception.  This morning I am spending my time working in our research library.  The majority of our library consists of the donated personal collection of Dr. Don Dragoo, who was a prominent archaeologist with the Carnegie Museum in Pittsburgh, PA, and contains an extensive array of pivotal archaeological works, journals, and periodicals.  The library also contains numerous Cultural Resource Management reports, maps, and articles.  To date, a complete inventory of our holdings has not been completed; in order to remedy this, I have allotted my mornings to establishing a full inventory of our written collections.  It is my hope that one day this inventory will be made available online and the GCMAC Library will become a functioning non-lending research library.  This afternoon, I will return to my Archaeological Curator duties and will work to catalog and rehouse artifacts from our very own Grave Creek Mound site.  I hope today has served as a great example of the variety of tasks that fall under the purview of an Archaeological Curator….I wonder what new and exciting projects will be taking place at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex on Day of Archaeology 2014!


A glimpse into the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex Research Library.


A visitor’s view into the GCMAC Archaeology Lab from the observation hall.


Grave Creek Mound, a late Adena burial mound, on a beautiful day.