|10 May 2010
Ancient artifacts found in Virginia
A potentially exciting discovery was as recently made Archaeologists at an estate in Albemarle County (Virginia, USA). They discovered buried artifacts that may indicate that Native Americans possibly settled in the area 3,000 years ago on what's known now as Morven Farm. Last summer phase one of the archaeological dig at Morven began. The artifacts found at the site, which is owned by the The University of Virginia Foundation, are giving researchers a better idea of who lived here a long time ago.
"We think this arrowhead is possibly over 2,000 years old," said Van Smith, Program and Development Manager at the University of Virginia Foundation. Some of the artifacts found by archaeologists so far have been an incomplete arrowhead chiseled by Indians and a shard from a piece of their pottery. "It's fascinating to think that long before Columbus set sail this rock was in the ground and lost in the sands of time here at Morven," said Smith.
An archaeological survey of the land was commissioned by the University of Virginia Foundation after historical documents and accounts suggested that Native Americans once settled at Morven. Steve Thompson from Rivanna Archaeological Services led a team of archaeologists who dug 2,000 test pits across 250 acres. Before being filled in, the pits were two feet square and extended as far as the clay subsoil. "It's possible there's more material below it, that this is a stratified site. That there are levels of earlier occupation below the level that we reached," Thompson explained.
Also uncovered by archaeologists was an ox shoe that was used by tenant farmers in the 18th century. Tenant farmers were considered the middle class at the time; however, there is very little information available about them. "A class of people we know very little about from the historical record and even less about from the archaeological record though they certainly made up an enormous part of colonial society," said Thompson.
It is hoped that the findings will help researchers understand how the Indians and the tenant farmers lived, from what they ate to what they wore. The University of Virginia Foundation would like to begin phase two of this project, at which time they will narrow in on specific sites on the property and do further archaeological digs.
Source: NBC29HD News (3 May 2010)
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