Getting to Know the Artifacts VI

Well, it has been a while. With the move to the website, it seemed time for another Getting to Know the Artifacts from the CART Lab.

All of our staff may have a generalized title, but each of them have a specialty that we often call upon. It makes for a great team. Luckily, we have an excellent lab archaeologist who specializes in lithics. From the early debris of stone tool making, technology, time periods, source materials and other information can be deduced. One book we refer to around the lab is Lithics: Macroscopic Approaches to Analysis by William Andrefsky, Jr. from Cambridge Manuals in Archaeology. Below are examples of bifacial thinning flakes recovered during our excavations at Old Colchester Park and Preserve.

Three flakes from prehistoric stone tool making found at the Old Colchester Park and Preserve in Northern Virginia

Flakes from Stone Tool Making found during excavation at the Old Colchester Park and Preserve

Stone flakes that are by-products of stone tool making found on Old Colchester Park & Preserve in Northern Virginia

The same flakes. By-products of stone tool making


We can’t forget about the tobacco port town of Colchester. In the life of the colonies and early North America, glass fragments are an often found artifact that can provide a great deal of information about our history. An invaluable guide to glass is often referred in archaeo-speak as the “Park’s Canada Glass Glossary”. It’s more official name is Glass: Glossary for the Description of Containers, Tableware, Closure (Studies in archaeology, architecture, and history). The image below shows base, body and finish/lip fragments of olive green bottles uncovered during excavations on the town of Colchester.

Fragments of Olive Green Bottle Glass from Old Colchester Park and Preserve in Northern Virginia

Olive Green Bottle Glass found during excavations of the Old Colchester Park and Preserve



About cartarchaeology

We are the County Archaeological Research Team, part of the Archaeology and Collections Branch, Resource Management Division, Fairfax County Park Authority. We are tasked with understanding and managing the cultural resources on Park land throughout Fairfax County.
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