September 22, 2020

The Thunderbird Site

The Thunderbird Paleoindian Site is not open to the public. But for a few years in the late 1970s, there was a museum to explore. Archaeologists were working at the site and made headlines when they found artifacts dating back 10,000 years. This was the oldest human settlement found in the mid-Atlantic states at that time. 

Since then older artifacts have been found in other places, notably at Meadowcroft in Pennsylvania.
I was anxious to see Thunderbird so we took the kids there, which was south of Front Royal. The pictures I took then have faded and turned yellow, as did the pages of our "magnetic" photo album. (This was long before I learned about archival materials.) 

In 1977 the site was named a National Historic Landmark. However, it is in private hands and cannot be accessed by public roads. A hint of the location remains in a road named Thunderbird in Limeton.

I believe the site borders on present-day Shenandoah River State Park, which did not exist at that time. 

There is a short book about the site, "Lost Arrowheads and Broken Pottery but it is out of print. 

10 comments:

  1. ...recording the past is so important, but I often read that young people have little of no knowledge of this that happened before they were born. Thanks Linda for joining the party.

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  2. Hello,
    I am glad you were able to visit the museum before it closed to the public. Pretty views of the river. Take care, enjoy your day!

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  3. Sad that people can't visit the museum. I hadn't heard of this site, and love archeology, especially of indigenous people in America. Glad you have those old photos of your visit. I trucked my sons to various sites when they were young. One of them wondered how I came to be so interested in them. I guess growing up and visiting Cahokia near St. Louis might have influenced me.

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  4. How cool that you could go there! Thanks for showing us this hidden treasure.

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  5. A bit of a shame that the place is no longer accessible.

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  6. Belas fotos, um tesouro guardado. bj

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  7. I find that sort of thing fascinating!

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  8. That was good that you could visit, many thanks for sharing these older photographs.

    All the best Jan

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