Archeologist and Program Director for The Blue Ridge Center for Environmental Stewardship in Purcellville, Virginia, Jeffrey Alvey and a team of students from Roanoke College, are conducting an archeological survey of the land encompassing CraftWorks at Cool Spring this week. Alvey and crew will dig throughout the property hoping to expose interesting findings from the rich history which makes up Cool Spring. Because of the presence of Bullskin Run and its importance to Native Americans of the past, Alvey suspects various Native American artifacts will be found. In fact, after their first day at Cool Spring, Alvey's crew dug up an adze, a tool made of stone once used as a chisel.
An exciting discovery of the midden, also known as a compost pile of sorts, was discovered near Mrs. Thornton's cottage. The midden is a treasure to Alvey because as he puts it, "It's like uncovering a time capsule". Ceramic, glass,nails and pig bones have already been found. Alvey is enlivened by the presence of so many items unearthed after just one day. As he explains, " I am excited about this place, you never know with slave, or former slave quarters what you will find. Most of these people did not have many possessions. Finding the midden will tell us much about Mrs. Thornton and her family who lived here from 1869 to 1920."
The Roanoke College students are based at the Blue Ridge Center as part of a program to study the archaeology of sites near its Loudoun County, Va., preserve.