CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will turn over nearly 450,000 historic artifacts unearthed during archeological excavations of the Marmet Lock replacement site to the state Division of Culture and History.
The artifacts, which represent more than 10,000 years of human occupation in the Kanawha Valley, make up the most complete picture of human history at a single West Virginia site. Under an agreement signed Tuesday, the artifacts will be archived at the state's Grave Creek Mound Archeological Complex in Moundsville.
Among artifacts in the collection are stone projectile knives and tools dating to 8500 BC, rare sandstone cooking bowls with organic residue inside them dating to 3,000 years ago, and museum-quality stone jewelry and tools from a 15th Century Fort Ancient village - the only Fort Ancient village in the state to be completely excavated.
The collection also includes items from the home, work site and slave quarters of 19th Century salt manufacturer John Reynolds.
Last spring, the Division of Culture and History opened an exhibit of artifacts from the Marmet Lock site in the Capitol Rotunda. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has sponsored two documentary films on the site - "Red Salt & Reynolds," released in 2003, and "Secrets of the Valley: The Prehistory of the Kanawha," set for release this fall.