MOUNDSVILLE, W.Va. —
Dr. Bruce M. Rothschild, MD, a professor at the West Virginia University School
of Medicine, will present “From Fairchance to Santa Barbara, a Shared
Experience” at the Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex in Moundsville on
Thursday, March 29, at 7 p.m. The lecture is part of the Complex’s monthly
lecture and film series and is free and open to the public.
Dr. Rothschild’s research includes applying knowledge gained from
archaeological sites to the study of modern diseases. As people migrate to new
areas, they carry along with them their language, their culture and their
diseases. Origins of both disease and patient can be inferred by studying the
physical remains of those travelers. In this presentation, he will discuss
evidence of yaws, a disfiguring disease that still exists today. When compared
to modern x-rays, bones from ancient cemeteries reveal that yaws was present
during prehistoric times in much of North America, limited only by the Cascade
Mountains to the West and Ontario to the North. It reached California at a later
point in time, not from the east, but by a more circuitous route. Studying the
transmission of the disease at locations such as Fairchance and Santa Barbara
reveals the story of people and how they interacted.
In addition to teaching, Rothschild is a research associate at the Carnegie
Museum of Natural History in Pittsburgh, Pa. He holds an M.D. from New
Jersey College of Medicine in Newark, N.J., and earned his B.S. in biology
honors and chemistry at Seton Hall University in South Orange, N.J. As a
visiting professor, he has taught at universities in the U.S., Canada, the
Caribbean, South America, Europe, the Middle East, South Africa, Asia and
Australia, and has been invited to present lectures at universities, hospitals
and museums throughout the world. His work includes over 900 scientific papers
and abstracts, as well as seven books, and he has participated in eight
Discovery Channel and BBC documentaries on origins of diseases.
Operated by the West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Grave Creek
Mound Archaeological Complex features one of the largest conical burial mounds
built by the Adena people between 250 - 150 B.C. and ranks as one of the
largest earthen mortuary mounds anywhere in the world. Exhibits and displays in
the Delf Norona Museum interpret what is known about the lives of these
prehistoric people and the construction of the mound. The complex also houses
the West Virginia Archaeological Research and Collections Management Facility.
Admission to Grave Creek Mound Archaeological Complex is free. The Delf Norona
Museum, located at 801 Jefferson Avenue, is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Tuesday through Saturday and closed Sunday and Monday. Outdoor access closes at
For more information about activities and programs at Grave Creek Mound,
contact Andrea Keller, cultural program coordinator, at (304) 843-4128 or email@example.com or visit www.facebook.com/gravecreekmound
The West Virginia Division of Culture and History is an agency within the
Office of Secretary of Education and the Arts. The division, led by
Commissioner Randall Reid-Smith, brings together the past, present and future
through programs and services focusing on archives and history, arts, historic
preservation and museums. For more information about the division’s
programs, events and sites, visit www.wvculture.org.