Loudoun Daily Monitor
BLUEMONT, VA. – The Paleoindian site found just across the Loudoun border with Clarke County has received an official site number (44CK151) from the Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources (DHR) adding it to the state’s inventory of archaeological sites.
In October at the Eastern States Archeological Federation’s annual meeting, archaeologist Jack Hranicky announced Virginia’s Spout Run Paleoindian Complex as the oldest above-ground Paleoindian ceremonial site in North America.
“For the DHR to give this prehistoric site a number is the procedure for recording sites which are added the state inventory,” Hranicky said. “This preserved site has numerous properties that prove its use by Paleoindians and classifies it as a major ceremonial/calendar site on the Shenandoah River.”
Initial site excavation and investigation offer a glimpse into a highly developed culture living in Virginia over 12,000 years ago. The site has above-ground concentric rings, ceremonial altar, jasper tools, summer/fall focus and calendar using the summer solstice as a start for the year. Jasper is a cryptocrystalline stone in geology known to be a preferred mineral to fashion tools by Paleoindians during the Younger Dryers period, which occurred after the Earth returned very quickly into near glacial conditions of cold, dry and windy.
Virginia is a national leader among the 50 states in registering historic sites and districts. For more information contact www.dhr.virginia.gov.
“Next we’ll be working with the DHR and U.S. Department of Interior to nominate it as National Historic Landmark,” Hranicky added.
Site owners Chris and René White, both Native American descendants, plan to establish a sacred retreat called the Sanctuary on the Trail, a faith-based neighborhood and community outreach-initiative where spiritual leaders across denominations can meet to create possibilities for communities, churches and tribes on challenges and issues facing them.