Monday, June 5, 2017

If a Tree Fell on the Eastern Shore and No One Heard it, Would there Still Be Artifacts?

It started with an uprooted tree in the yard, which left a big hole, which opened a window into the past.
Colonial-era clay pipes and pottery pieces. Hand-forged nails and odd yellow-ish bricks. Tiny coins – one of the oldest types of farthing. And jetons – brass tokens once used for accounting that have rarely been found in this country.
It wasn’t the first time scientists had descended on Eyreville. In 2005, an international geology team spent months on the property, coring more than a mile deep into a 56-mile-wide underground crater that was blasted by a meteor 35 million years ago.
On that deep-time calendar, the 400-year-old artifacts in the yard were left there, like, yesterday.
But in U.S. history terms, that’s significant. The so-called Contact Period spanned 1520 to 1620, the dawn of European settlement here. Rare stuff.
The jetons? They match others excavated from the oldest parts of the 1607 fort at Jamestown and at Roanoke Island, the last known location of what became the Lost Colony.
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