The following shows the best-of-best artifacts from the Arkfeld site (Clarke County) which is a baby mammoth. It has been named the Baby Mammoth in Calcite. It was sculptured out of a piece of limestone clay which was placed on a vein of calcite running through a flat rock. With the site’s ancient chronological focus, it is considered the oldest artwork in North America. It has a limestone base, a calcite palate, and bitumen-coated limestone image. The basic hypothesis is:
…you had to be living during the age of the mammals to create an artform of a baby mammoth..
This is one of the most unusual implements found in the Midle Atlantic. It is a human head made from jasper. Since jasper does not occur in Clarke county, its source is probably Warren county.
Cinmar – Virginia’s Oldest Stone Artifact
Wm Jack Hranicky RPA
Abstract: This published paper presents a summary of the modern history of the Cinmar bipoint. Its discovery, description, and dates are presented. The artifact is illustrated.
The modern history of the Cinmar bipoint starts in 1970 when Captain Thurston Shawn of Mathews County, Virginia found it. He was the skipper of the scallop dredger named Cinmar, out of Hampton which was dredging 40 miles off the Virginia Capes in 40 meters of water at the edge of the Continental Shelf. After one particular dredging haul across the Atlantic floor, he recovered an ivory mammoth tusk, a large molar and a stone knife blade. He later sawed the tusk into sections and divided it amongst the crew and kept part of the tusk, the molar and the stone blade. Several years later, Dean Parker of Mathews County acquired these 3 artifacts from Captain Shawn and in 2002 loaned them to the Gwynn’s Island Museum in Mathews County for exhibition.
In 2009, Darrin Lowery, an archeologist working with the Smithsonian Institution and specializing in Paleoindian prehistory was in the area and, because it was raining, stopped by the museum. He discovered the artifacts and contacted Dennis Stanford of the Smithsonian who became very excited about them. Stanford obtained permission from Dean Parker and took the bipoint, mammoth molar and tusk section back with him to the Smithsonian for further research. After 2 years of testing which included carbon dating, DNA tests, RC dating, and X-ray sourcing analysis, it was concluded that the mammoth was a 30-year old female who was killed over 20,000+ years ago which also dated the bipoint (see below).
The Smithsonian established that the artifact, a pre-LGM occupation item of North America's Mid-Atlantic region, was made from rhyolite, a stone material found in a specific quarry located around South Mountain, Pennsylvania which is near Emmitsburg. As argued in Hranicky (2018), early Americans were basically living on the exposed continental shelf. They came inland for one principal reason, namely fresh stone for their tools. For the Pleistocene era, rhyolite was unusual. The sample of Pleistocene bipoints is small and this low frequency is probably a sampling bias. For the present reporting, jasper was the basic stone requirement.
The Cinmar artifact measures: Length = 188, Width = 55, Thickness = 6 mm. For its size, it is extremely thin and has a flat distal-to-base profile. It has well-controlled percussion-thinning flaking on both faces (Stanford and Bradley 2012). The knife was probably hafted and resharpened several times. X-rays indicate it was made from the Pennsylvania banded rhyolite. Stanford and Bradley (2012) consider the artifact’s ancestry as being the Franco-Cantabrian Solutrean of Europe. This is based on the Cinmar’s overshot flaking. The tusk provided the radiocarbon date around 23,000 years.
Spout Run Effigy Head
Arkfeld Chamber Effigy, Clarke County, Virginia
The major artform is shown. Judging from the limestone, it was made from limestone elsewhere and transported into the chamber. The small white insert is calcite which was glued in place using bitumen. There are definitely different sources for the limestone as the artifacts do not exactly match the sinkhole limestone..
Engraved spheres probably attributed to the Mississippian people. This specimen was found by Ben McCary in the 1950s. It had been ceremonially broken; McCary glued it back together.
The Spout Run site is a Pleistocene era site with stone circles, day clock, various stone pointers, and now numerous artifacts have been discovered.
His given Indian names: Guardian of the Shennadoah or Moon Face.
Length: 290 mm
Width: 110 mm
Thickness: 85 mm
VIRGINIA ROCKART SURVEY