28 November 2011

Metal Detecting Post #56 - Indian Artifact

Back in September, I was metal detecting an old farmstead here in the Valley that dates to the 1740's. This farm has  two large springs on it. I was working an area around one of the springs, but not finding anything of interest. But in one of the holes I dug, I pulled out an unusual looking stone. At first, I thought it was a chunk of old concrete and almost tossed it. But as I looked at it closer, I noticed it was perfectly symmetrical. So I've held on to it until I could get someone who might know something about Indian artifacts to look at it for me. The Shenandoah Valley was once a very fertile hunting ground for a number of tribes. On Saturday, I showed this the stone to John Huffer. John is somewhat of a local legend and has been relic hunting for more than 50 years. He has an extensive collection of CW artifacts and one of the largest and best documented collection of Native American artifacts in Virginia. He's donated much of that collection to the Waynesboro (VA) Heritage Foundation where they have the collection on display. Anyway, John immediately identified the stone as a "scraper" - most commonly used by Indian women to scrape animal hides. His educated guess is that its probably 2000 - 3000 years old.



Brock Townsend said...

Wow, what a find! Congratulations.

Richard G. Williams, Jr. said...

Thanks Brock. John thinks it may be Monacan, which makes it even more interesting since we believe one of my wife's ancestors was Monacan.