25 August 2006
Evidence of prehistoric site found in Virginia
An archaeologist has uncovered clues about prehistoric ancestors of Indians, including evidence that they likely had a campsite near the future home of a planned elementary school at Williamsburg (Virginia, USA). The prehistoric hunters and gatherers left behind thousands of flakes of hard quartzite rock, remnants from making pointed tips for axes and hatchets. One pointed stone tip dates back to about 3,000 BCE. The artifacts will be displayed at the new Matoaka Elementary School to commemorate the site's history.
Pottery fragments, stone flakes and tools left by settlers, Virginia Indians and their ancestors are not unusual finds in James City County. The county requires an archaeological study with every land rezoning. Artifacts from 44 acres near Greensprings Plantation were not found on the section of land where school buildings are planned and will not disrupt construction of the buildings. But the artifacts do overlap two sports fields.
Archaeologist Carol Tyrer is still analyzing the results of the Matoaka archaeological study with researchers and historians. They have not yet concluded whether a 300-foot-wide patch of land overlooking a tributary to Powhatan Swamp, where stone flakes were found, could be eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Sources: Associated Press, Richmond Times-Dispatch (21 August 2006)
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