Fourteen students lead by their archaeology teacher, Jason Anderson, dug up the prehistoric Axe when excavating the site of a cemetery for enslaved African Americans.
Credit: Mount Vernon Estate
It was found on George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate, where Native American Indians migrated to the area while on their travels. The prehistoric location was not a village, rather a settlement or camp for the journeyers.
Created for cutting wood, the Ancient tool was made from stone sourced from a nearby river, and was ground down to a sharp edge with a joint made for attaching a handle.
The Axe measures about 18cm long.
Most likely it was a very important possession, and took a considerable amount of time to carefully produce.
To be carried along with the Indians during their long distance adventures, it was made using a river cobble.
“Artifacts such as this are a vital resource for helping us learn about the diverse communities who shaped this landscape throughout its long history”
Sean Devlin, the collections curator the Vernon estate, also commented that “this was something that people invested time in”.
Clearly it was an expensive and lengthy process to produce such an axe.
Dated to about 6,000 years ago, the researchers compared it to similar tools that were made and used during its time to gauge how old it was.
The discovery was extremely exciting for the archaeology students, and their teacher was just as amazed. They’ve been digging in that area and mapping the 8,000 year old cemetery for over six years, and this is by far their greatest find.
“It’s very fulfilling work”
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