A Glimpse Into the Past
Written by: Lucy Treado, Research and Collections Technician
Assorted lithics to be cataloged.
Since early September, I have been working on cataloging the incoming collections from the Thunderbird Research Corporation (TRC). The collections are from multiple archaeological sites from Warren County, Virginia. These sites vary in age from Early Archaic to Late Woodland and include quarry sites, reduction sites and habitation sites. A majority of the lithics I have seen to date are from the Rudacil site, site 44WR5, within the Flint Run Paleoindian Complex. As I sort through the flakes, I wonder about the other hands that have been in contact with them. Not only do I think about the Paleo-Americans who created these flakes- I also think about the archaeologists who collected the lithics back in the 70’s and 80’s.
Most of the lithics from the Rudacil site are jasper debitage. However, I have come across quite a few tools, such as utilized flakes, gravers, scrapers and hammer stones. Last week, I was very excited to find an expended, or re-sharpened, Yadkin point within the assemblage. I was surprised to find a projectile point in the first place- since the Rudacil site is a quarry, I expected that all of the points would be carried out by their makers and that only broken flakes and debitage would be left behind. This point also dates to much later than the earlier occupation at the Rudacil site.
Expended chert Yadkin point.
I have spent a good deal of time thinking about the life of this expended point. Where was it used? How many times was it reworked? What food had it provided, what other ways was it used? Because the Rudacil site is a jasper quarry, this point was most likely discarded when its owner knapped a replacement.
Another exciting find was the package of slide photographs of the Flint Run fieldwork from 1971, 1973, and 1981. It is great to see the Warren County landscape along with the crew of archaeologists, their excavation work and archaeological finds. I can almost picture a much earlier landscape- around 9,500 BC, with a group of Paleo-Indians preparing new tools, perhaps trading stories and material culture. I hold these images in my mind as I sort through the flakes at my desk and carefully inspect each edge- perhaps this is the third or fourth time these flakes have been scrutinized.
Slides of the Flint Run Complex from 1971 and 1973.