Early Man - 10,000 to 6,800 BC

The continent's earliest occupants were nomadic big-game hunters who followed their prey across the landscape. At Ferry Farm, groups of these hunters stopped to sharpen their stone tools and may have even attempted a kill.

Fluted Clovis Point
Aerial view of the archaeology site at Ferry Farm Clovis Point
Chert Flake  
Quarry  
Location of early archaic points  
Bison  
Lance-shaped, fluted Clovis Point
Image courtesy Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources.
Location of Site at Ferry Farm ~ Clusters of artifacts from this time period have been found on the terrace overlooking the Rappahannock.


Chert Flake Location ~ Archaeologists have identified a concentration of stone flakes created through tool making or tool sharpening. These are flakes of chert, the favorite stone of these early hunters.
The Quarry ~ Early hunters made tools with only a few different types of stone. The nearest possible source of this chert is an outcrop called the Brook Run Jasper Quarry, located about 60 miles from Ferry Farm.
Photo courtesy Gray and Pape, Inc.
Prey ~ Herds of large game including mammoth, bison, elk, mastodon, and moose were followed by these remarkable hunters. Once these animals became extinct in this area, the hunters altered their strategy to include smaller animals, most of which are still found here. Photo, "Two bison in a green meadow," by Paul Horsted, for "Custer State Park," a South Dakota Local Legacies project.
Hunters' Camps ~ Sometime between 8,300 BC and 6,800 BC, small groups of hunters established camps here, as shown by spear points. These hunters lived in small, semi-nomadic bands, harvesting a variety of naturally available foods.
Clovis Point ~ The oldest artifact recovered at Ferry Farm is a fragment from a spear point called a Clovis Point. This thin, well-made point, with its characteristic "fluted" or grooved center, was crafted by a person from a nomadic culture that populated the Americas between 12,000 BC and 8,300 BC.