At VOF we protect places that connect people to the outdoors. And, as we are finding at our Bull Run Mountains Preserve in the post below, sometimes we are connecting people of the past to people of the present through the outdoors.
Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!
To celebrate, our Preserve Manager, Joe, wanted to share with you all the story behind an interesting piece of chert (aka flint) in our collections that was just discovered this past year 😊
While it may look at first to be "just a stone" - upon closer inspection, one would begin to notice clear clues that it is actually a significant artifact. It displays a long, finely worked edge that was created intentionally through an artful process known as stone "knapping".
This stone was modified into a type of scraper tool, most likely used to prepare animal hides over an estimated 2,000 years ago by the First Nation's people who called Bull Run Mountains home!
Interestingly, this chert is a type of stone not naturally found here, but probably arrived via an ancient trade route that passed right through Thoroughfare Gap (which is still an important regional travel corridor today). Our experts believe that this particular chert most likely hailed from a deposit in the lower Shenandoah Valley (over 100 miles away!).
One of our objectives here at VOF's Preserve at Bull Run Mountains is to continue the tradition of Virginia's first geologists - the Native Americans who were the first people to discover, study, and utilize our region's natural resources. We aim to continue to learn more about this landscape, through many different lenses and ways of knowing - and share this beauty, wonder, and knowledge with our communities and world.
To reach this goal and honor this history, we are currently working to develop a dedicated space to ensure that we can safely keep and share such historic artifacts that speak of this diversely peopled past.
Note: This stone tool was found in March of 2021 by Archeological Society of Virginia (ASV) Volunteer, Jackie Cuyler during an Archaeological Survey in our South Section.
📸: Joe Villari
#diverselypeopledpast #makinghistoryourstory #firstnations #archeology #archeologicalsocietyofvirginia