I am the Curator of Archaeological Collections for the WV State Research and Collections Management Facility located at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, WV. I have a B.A. and M.A. in Anthropology, both aquired from Western Michigan University. My experience includes Collections Management theory and practice, Records and Database Management, Data Entry, and Archaeological Site File creation.

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.

A Day in the Life of an Archaeological Curator in West Virginia

Day of Archaeology 2012 finds me completing my fourth month as an archaeological curator for the West Virginia state research and curation facility at Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville, WV.   The day started at 9:00 am like most others do, with a long list of emails to check and lots (and lots) of coffee.  After catching up on business, the day shifts into what I love about archaeology: processing artifacts and preserving collections.  Currently, I am in the process of analyzing and inventorying ceramics from a large multi-component site in West Virginia.  As a lab rat, the rest of my day will be spent looking at box after box of ceramics, rehousing artifacts, taking notes, drinking more coffee, researching, and entering data into an Access database.

Today, I am processing ceramics; tomorrow is always a surprise.  I am thrilled to be employed in a position that not only helps protect archaeological collections for future generations, but also provides me with the opportunity to research and learn more about my field every day.