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The Archaeological Evidence in Shenandoah Valley

Native American artifacts are frequently found in the Seven Bends area of the Shenandoah River between Woodstock and Strasburg, VA.  However, mounds and earthworks are mostly concentrated in the bends near the outlet of Toms Brook at Maurertown, VA.  The mounds were fairly prominent when settlers first arrived, but after 250 years of plowing, they generally can only be found in aerial photographs. Paleo-Indian Period Warren County During the 1990s, the Thunderbird Archaeological District was surveyed and partially excavated. Thunderbird consists of three sites that were occupied or utilized during the Paleo-Indian and Early Archaic Periods. It was the first archaeological site in Virginia that showed evidence of a Clovis Culture occupation. High quality jasper was mined and worked to produce tools and weapons. Thunderbird is now a residential subdivision. Clarke County Archaeologist Jack Hranicky is leading the study of a Paleolithic or Early Archaic Period site which contains a stone circle that apparently functioned as a calendar. He recently discovered petroglyphs on boulders near the stone circle. At this time, it is not known if the petroglyphs are contemporary with the stone circle. Archaic Period Page County In Skeleton’s Gorge at Luray Caverns, bone fragments (among other artifacts) were found embedded in calcite. Other traces of previous human occupation included pieces of charcoal, flint, and human bone fragments embedded in stalagmite. A skeleton, thought to be that of a Native American girl, found in one of the chasms. Woodland Period Shenandoah County Archaeologists employed by the National Park Service surveyed northern Shenandoah County, VA between 1989 and 1991 in preparation for nominating the Toms Brook Battlefield (October 9,...

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