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HomeArchaeologyRewriting The Historical past Of The Rappahannocks

Rewriting The Historical past Of The Rappahannocks


By Paula Neely

For years, Anne Richardson, chief of the Rappahannock tribe, gathered along with her folks for ceremonies and summer time fish fries at a number of places alongside the Rappahannock River in Virginia. She didn’t notice the importance of the places till they had been lately recognized as ancestral Rappahannock websites. “We had overlooked the traditional cities,” Richardson stated. “I had information of place names, however didn’t know the place they had been,” she stated.
Archaeologist Catherine Dye examines fragments of a canoe found on the Rappahannock River within the mid Forties that could be related to the Rappahannocks. The fragments at the moment are within the collections of the Smithsonian Establishment. | Credit score: Julia A. King
The tribe recognized the ancestral websites with the assistance of a workforce of archaeologists led by Julia King of St. Mary’s Faculty of Maryland, who started collaborating with the Rappahannocks in 2015 on a mission to search out websites from the Late Woodland and Contact intervals. Combining archaeological area work, historic analysis, and interviews with the tribe, King’s workforce recognized or confirmed the places of thirty-six Rappahannock websites. Beforehand little or no archaeology had been completed alongside the river, and Richardson stated she knew the places of solely two historical cities. “For the primary time in 350 years, we noticed the territory in a complete new gentle,” she stated, including that the analysis validated the tribe’s oral traditions. “It’s been very therapeutic for the tribe.”
This copper alloy Jesuit ring was recovered from a c. 1680-1710 website occupied by Indigenous households on Portobago Bay. Archaeologists imagine the ring got here to Portobago by way of Indigenous commerce networks that included Jesuit missionaries in New France. | Credit score: Catherine C. Dye
Funded by grants from the Nationwide Endowment for the Humanities and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the researchers are learning the world between the mouth of the river and Fredericksburg. They employed a geographic info system (GIS) mannequin that included knowledge about archaeological websites inside ten miles of the river that dated from about A.D. 900 to 1600, elevation, slope, proximity to wetlands, entry to navigable waters, and locations with extensive viewsheds. In addition they included knowledge about soils that had been good for rising corn based mostly, partly, on the varieties of soils discovered at archaeological websites inside the mission space.

Archaeologists from St. Mary’s Faculty of Maryland dig shovel exams each twenty-five toes on the Hastings website. Positioned simply west of Portobago, the location seems to have been occupied by an English family that acquired its ceramics from the Indigenous potters at Portobago. | Credit score: Julia A. King.

Archaeologist Julia A. King measures ceramic fragments recovered from the Pissaseck website, whereas college students course of artifacts from the location. | Credit score Patricia Samford

Archaeologists excavate check items at Fones Cliffs. The cliffs, which rise 100 toes above the Rappahannock River, mark the spot the place, in 1608, Rappahannock warriors ambushed Captain John Smith as he made his approach up the Rappahannock River. | Credit score: Julia A. King

 

That is an article excerpt from the Summer time 2022 version of American Archaeology Journal.  Grow to be a member of The Archaeological Conservancy on your complimentary subscription!

 

| The Archaeological Conservancy 2022

 

 


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