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What’s That from Lovettsville Park?

June 1, 2011 by Blue Ridge Leader filed under Uncategorized No Comments
What's That artifact

By Mike Clem with Bob Shuey

If you live in Loudoun County–you’re sitting on history. Literally. This column looks at what’s turning up in Loudoun County gardens, attics and streambeds and asks local archaeologists,”What’s That?” Send a photo and brief description of your unusual backyard finds to CarolBRleader@yahoo.com or mail it to Blue Ridge Leader , 128 South 20th Street, Purcellville, VA 20132

Look what was found on the Lovettsville Park property! This was discovered while digging in the remains of an old house that likely stood sometime between the late 1700s and the late 1800s. No evidence of the house remains, except for the hearth, where this was discovered. This stone object was found in two pieces: The upper portion was found first, and the stemmed base portion was found the following day about one foot away. It is quite possible that an inhabitant of this early 19th century farm house found the point and brought it into the house and put it on the mantle, where it remained even after the house was abandoned.

This is a Koens-Crispin stemmed point. It dates to the Late Archaic period of prehistory. The Late Archaic period is considered the period from roughly 5000-3000 years ago. This point type has been associated with several sites that date to the later portion of that period; from around 1800-1200 BC. The blade is made from rhyolite. Rhyolite is a stone that comes from the Catoctin Mountains west of Frederick, Maryland. It was a commonly used material for spear points and knives of the period. This specimen appears to have been used primarily as a knife. The blade has clearly been shaped from use and has been resharpened on one side, causing it to look asymmetrical.

Our answer comes from Michael Clem (bottom left) for the Banshee Reeks Chapter of the Archeology Society of Virginia (BRASV.org). Mr. Clem is also the Loudoun County Archaeologist. Bob Shuey (bottom right) is an archeologist active in local historic preservation efforts.

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