Kenneth B. Johnston avocational archaeologist from Ohio visited this week to study, interpret, and document portable rock art found by the Paleo-Indian site owner Chris (Comeswithclouds) White at the Sanctuary on the Trail
Ken provides a comprehensive online resource center of photos and writing about portable rock art from laypersons, amateur archaeologists, scholars and researchers around the world @ portablerockart.com. Ken aims to promote healthy discussion and debate regarding issues of verification of artifactuality and intended iconography in portable rock art.
The cat is in silhouette facing left here. It may be encrusted with remnants of a red ochre based pigment. I found the sculpture after about 10 minutes at the Spout Run site. Like the nearby Arkfeld site, it will likely produce even many more examples of portable rock art in the future. The photos here suggest a rabbit likeness to some who have viewed them. Because of the age and weathering of the artifacts and our lack of all the cultural background including visual cues of the past, exact interpretations of animals are often difficult. Based on my experience, I believe the sculpture was made based on familiarity with, and significance given to, the mating behaviors of felines. Full article online at Archaeology of Portable Rock Art.
Avocational Archaeologist Ken Johnston visiting the Paleo-Indian site in Northern Virginia.
Washington Postvia AP BLUEMONT, Va. — Concentric stone circles near rocks weighing more than a ton — apparently aligned to mark solar events — are believed to be part of a Paleo-Indian site in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Clarke County that an expert has dated to about 10,000 B.C. (Full Story here.)
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Original story by: The Winchester Star, http://www.winchesterstar.com
Original May 7, 2014 article by Val VanMeter Winchester Star @ www.winchesterstar.com
Listen live, as Dr. Eliezer Ben-Jospeh interviews Chris and René White about the Paleo-Indian site they found in Northern Virginia, during a live 30-minute interview on call-in radio Saturday, May 10 between 10:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time). The program is broadcast from Texas and available via free online stream globally.
To Participate. To ask questions call 915-544-5876 or 1-800-706-0450.
I-Phone. Those with I-phones can listen live on their phone or podcast by using the free IHeartRadio app and pulling up KtsmRadio.com.
Dr. Ben-Jospehhas been host of “Natural Solutions Radio” on KTSM 690 in El Paso, Texas for 13 years. His titles include: Sir, Professor, Eliezer Ben-Joseph N.D, D.Sc., M.D. (MA), (Medicina Alternativa).
By Michael Dowling Original Article Posted Online at www.GrowingInterest.com. Signs of life linger on the land. Like shadows that grow long as the day slips into night, the stories of past generations spread across the landscape waiting for the blazing light of curiosity to coax them from the darkness.
Perched on the slope of Mount Weather, an ancient timepiece sits quietly marking the passage of the sun. The stone day clock, built from boulders weighing thousands of pounds, overlooks what has now been identified as a sprawling solstice complex dating back thousands of years. Discovered on the property of Clarke County residents, Chris and René White, the site offers a window into the distant past where ancient people studied and developed the means to observe and measure the heavens. Since its discovery four years ago it has been meticulously researched and in 2011, Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources added it to the state’s inventory of archaeological sites. Yet despite its clear significance, a scientific indicator of an exact date had proven elusive.
Now, a new milestone has been reached that fixes a date on the site’s last use. Using thermoluminescence dating techniques, an artifact discovered buried at the site has been dated back to 10,470 YBP (Years Before Present). This pinpoints the timeframe in which the site was last used but also means the elements constructed on the site are even older.
While the age of the site makes it a rare find, what truly distinguishes it is the fact that the features are above ground. Archeologist Dr. Jack Hranicky who has been working on the site and developing the initial research report said, that the prehistoric site, “is of unique national significance and offers a glimpse into a highly developed culture living in Virginia over 12,000 years ago.”
There are other Paleo-Indian era sites in Virginia, but the extant (above ground) nature of the site in Clarke County makes it a one of a kind historic site unique in all of North America.
Triangle Formation with Stepping Stone. Photo by Michael Dowling.
"...a one of a kind historic site unique in all of North America."
Day Clock. Photo by Michael Dowling.
When discussing how he discovered the first signs of the site, Chris White says he always had an intrinsic understanding that the land was important. He and his wife Rene’ are both Native American descendants and for years, had dreamed of creating a retreat center on their property. As a first step Chris decided to build a “medicine wheel.” Used for rituals and teaching purposes, medicine wheels are comprised of stones laid in rings and patterns on the ground. Chris identified what appeared to be a suitable spot, but was surprised to find subtle hints that stones had already been laid in concentric circles. He had walked the site many times before and had even held the marriage ceremony to his wife René mere feet away from the spot, yet until he observed it through the lens of his Native American culture, the site remained hidden.
Convinced that his find was not a natural occurrence, he contacted archeologist Dr. Jack Hranicky. After some initial questions and a site survey, Hranicky recognized it as a possible Paleo-Indian site and research began in earnest. For the next four years the site was studied, portions excavated and seasonal observations logged to document the existing constructs and their possible uses. It was during a very methodical excavation that the artifact that would shed light on the date of the site was revealed. In what Hranicky theorizes would have been a fire hearth at the center of the stone rings, a worked piece of Jasper was discovered. The stone had been chipped away and formed into a tool, and since Jasper is not found naturally in this area it must have been brought to the site by human hands. That stone implement was the puzzle piece that clearly proved that the site was last used more than 10,000 years ago.
Through the millennia, the rough terrain has helped preserve the site. Even today, it protects its secrets as new discoveries continue to emerge. To date there over a dozen distinct features that have been documented including the massive day clock, petroglyph carvings in a stone shelter, and many solstice and seasonal observation stations.
The future of the site remains fluid. The White’s had already established a Native American Church prior to their knowledge of the site so they see a natural connection and hope to grow the two together into a location for learning and spiritual growth. Preservation and interpretation will consume the foreseeable future. While the features of the site seem to all point to time and the observation of it’s passing, the greatest obstacle to understanding the site’s meaning and importance is the chasm of time that exists between its builders and our world. Perhaps as the site calls to visitors to slow the pace of their lives and minds, that chasm may close and offer a bridge to better understand this important discovery.
Also read past articles from the Clarke Daily News:
Bluemont, VA -- Today marks the next chapter with our Archeologist Jack Hranicky. Over the past four years, Dr. Jack volunteered countless hours revealing the Paleo-Indian site we found here in Northern Virginia. He cataloged artifacts, oversaw excavation, measured azimuths, authored abstracts, and conducted reports. After each discovery, one of our favorite quotes from Dr. Jack was, “Well, we did it again folks.” Because of Dr. Jack’s sense of curiosity, 40-year career and eagerness to do the right thing, we now have a date of 10,470 years old, for the artifacts we excavated a couple of years ago. This morning we enjoyed our last country breakfast together with Dr. Jack. Our local Pine Grove Restaurant serves Jack’s favorite soft beacon and decaf coffee. There was no time for him to get his usual lunch burger and fries at our local Horseshoe Restaurant. After finalizing his report with us, for the Spout-Run Paleo-Indian site, before we knew it, Dr. Jack was quickly off to his next discovery.
Today, Dr. Jack shared that he hopes to retire to Clarke County with his lovely wife Julie. He said he feels a real connection to a gentler way of life here and Clarke County is a nice place to call home. Dr. Jack is 73 years old and shared that he has no plans to stop discovering. Dr. Jack’s relentless contributions changed the landscape of our community’s history and our family’s lives. Thank you Dr. Jack. We and our community are forever in his debt.
BLUEMONT VA – A sacred blessing for the Paleo-Indian ceremonial grounds took place at the Sanctuary on the Trail™ in Bluemont, Va. on April 26. The smell of sacred medicine of sage, cedar and tobacco filled the air Saturday as Seminole Medicine Man, and co-founder of the Oklevueha Native American Church and Priory of the Indigenous People for the Hospitaller Order of Saint Lazarus of Jerusalem, James (Flaming Eagle) Mooney and Paleo-Indian site custodian Chris (Comeswithclouds) White, of Cherokee ancestry, held a sacred blessing ceremony. Mooney and his wife, medicine woman Linda (Bright Hawk) Mooney, flew in from Utah to conduct the historic sacred event. There was no large audience for the hour-long sacred blessing. No ribbon cutting. No band. Only sounds of a bubbling creek, singing birds, an occasional flutter of a butterfly or buzzing bee landing on nearby spring flowers, and sacred prayers. A council of three, elder Mooney, elder/land owner White, and a sacred all-consuming fire of truth (symbolized as Jesus Christ/Holy Spirit) sat inside a talking circle along the Blue Ridge Mountain, with a clutch of Eagle feathers, a few soft leather pouches, sacred prayer pipes and an eagle bone flute, while praying as a sacred crackling fire’s smoke delivered their prayers upward. The ritual included a traditional smudging ceremony used to remove any negative energy from the Paleo-Indian ceremonial grounds now and into the future. “Our Indigenous American Native spiritual traditions have been suppressed and taken to the verge of extinction. Such as a time as this, what a blessing Great Spirit has called Chris and René to this place and to this mission of preserving, protecting, and restoring this sacred ceremonial space,” Mooney said. “It is our hope that with their Native American Church of Virginia that they be a hub or center to assist in healing our world and all our relations,” Mooney added.
Does God really visit physical places? Does God consider one place more sacred than another? Is there such a thing as a scared place? Or are all places sacred?
The Whites plan to leverage the Paleo-Indian site and their “Sanctuary on the Trail”™ as a hub to “help leaders first,” especially military veterans returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In response to helping military veterans, C. White, CEO of the Native American of Virginia, who found the Paleo-Indian site, shared this short story: “In Native American culture, when warriors went off to fight it was an individual sacrifice made for the tribe as a whole. Through the wisdom of the elders it was known beforehand that the atrocities of war and the sacrifices warriors made were not just being absent from the tribe and their families,” explained C. White. “While warriors may lose their life, all were exposed to unseen wounds in the spirit,” he added. “Upon returning to the tribe they were isolated, prayed over, and went through ceremonial cleansing to heal so that the things witnessed in spiritual trauma would be cleansed before entering back into society; thus, not tainting society nor the tribe, of that which they had seen and witnessed or done. So when entering back into society, they leave the warrior behind healed and enter back in to society complete and as whole as they left.” C. White’s wife, a retired military veteran with 22 years active duty service is also blessed in leading Native American ceremonies. R. White said, “Using sacred ceremonies is one way we hope to help our warriors.” She added, “Do you believe? Do you believe a person can be cleansed of war? We do.” The Whites are trained in leading scared ceremonies. They plan to use sacred “sweats” to help veterans cope with anxieties related to combat experiences. The “sweat lodge” may be new to Northern Virginia, but it is not new to Military Veteran Affairs (VA). The VA offers many sweat lodges at VA hospitals nationwide, including the VA Hospital in Richmond, Va. It is the White’s plan to partner with the Department of Defense and veteran groups to assist with the healing. “Leveraging the Paleo-Indian site helps validate this place as an already sacred place and a place to heal,” said R. White who is 100% percent Native American from the Lumbee Tribe.
Ezekiel 36:33-35 says, “Thus says the Lord God: “On the day that I cleanse you from all your iniquities, I will also enable you to dwell in the cities, and the ruins shall be rebuilt. The desolate land shall be tilled instead of lying desolate in the sight of all who pass by. So they will say, ‘This land that was desolate has become like the garden of Eden; and the wasted, desolate, and ruined cities are now fortified and inhabited.’”
The Whites plan to leverage the Paleo-Indian site and their “Sanctuary on the Trail”™ as a hub to “help leaders first,” especially military veterans returning home from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Chris (Comeswithclouds) White and Rene' White (Feather) presented dating results of 10,470 YBP (years before present) for the Paleo-Indian site at the Barns of Rose Hill Community Center in Berryville, Va. on April 26, 2014. Photo by Jurate Landwehr retired Hydrologist as she was entering the community center for the Paleo-Indian presentation.
Speaking about the blessing ceremony for the Paleo-Indian site, C. White explains, “This is an exercise in “sacerdotalism,” which is common throughout history. It is an exercise in respect of elders. We sit like this in council with our elders. As in all cultures we honor our elders and spiritual leaders. We do not go off and do things on our own. As in many cultures, whether priest, rabbi, or cleric, we hear their words and positions on issues we feel Great Spirit is leading us towards. Their blessing is not only a concurrence and affirmation of the initiatives ahead, it is a physical attribute of our core values in regard to honor and respect. Did not Abraham receive a blessing from Melchizedek?,” he concluded.
White and Mooney holding the sign used at the Barns of Rose Hill Paleo-Indian presentation unveiling the Anthropologist dating results of 10,470 years.
Does God really visit physical places? Does God consider one place more sacred than another? Is there such a thing as a scared place? Or are all places sacred? In reaction to these questions, C. White gave this example, “Some feel a draw to Stonehenge. Some feel a spiritual draw to Vatican City. The Bible, records Abraham heard from God concerning his inheritance in a heavenly place at Bethel (translated “house of God”.) Jacob dreamed of a ladder that went to heaven at Bethel. Elijah was translated into heaven, and that day he was at Bethel.” During the ceremony, Mooney acknowledged the Whites as restoring a sacred site that had been left desolate. Mooney envisioned it being restored and that people would say, “It is as the ‘Garden of Eden.’” C. White pointed out that Mooney had just paraphrased Biblical prophecy from Ezekiel and Isaiah. Hours later, following the blessing ceremony at the Paleo-Indian ceremonial grounds, the Whites unveiled the Archeologist and Anthropologist dating results of the Paleo-Indian ceremonial site at the Barns of Rose Hill community center in Berryville, Va. The evidence they released validates the site’s integrity as positive for a Paleo-Indian era ceremonial sacred usage 10,470 years ago. For more about the Paleo-Indian site or the Native American Church of Virginia visit www.SanctuaryontheTrail.org. The Native American Church of Virginia is a 501(c)3 compliant faith-based initiative. The Paleo-Indian site received an official site number (44CK151) from the Virginia’s Department of Historic Resources adding it to the state’s inventory of archaeological sites in 2011.
Related Veteran News.
In Sweat Lodge, Vets Find Healing ‘Down to the Core’NPR Article
Isaiah 58:12 says, “Those from among you Shall build the old waste places; You shall raise up the foundations of many generations; And you shall be called the Repairer of the Breach, The Restorer of Streets to Dwell In.”
Native American Ministries Sunday By René White (Feather), Lumbee Tribe BLUEMONT, VA – Today is a special Sunday for Native Americans in the United States. We know, because of a beautiful church service held in the tiny village of Bluemont, Virginia. Call it “providence” that our neighbor Susan Freis Falknor invited us to this little stone Bluemont United Methodist Church (built in 1851) located on top of the Blue Ridge Mountain along Snickersville Pike. Being of Native American decent and custodians of a Paleo-Indian site just miles away, we were asked to simply make a few brief remarks about our May 7 presentation at the Bluemont Community Center. But what we did not know is, today is Native American appreciation day, for United Methodist Churches nationwide. On the third Sunday after Easter, Methodist churches across the nation celebrate Native American Indian contributions to churches and society. Today, with a couple of dozen people in attendance, (acting) Pastor Janice Coon greeted us wearing Native American-style dream catcher earrings. During the welcome, she and others recalled a myriad of Native Americans contributions that have made this great nation great. The first hymnal by the Resurrection Choir was, “Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.” Above the choir was a holy cross with a circle around its center. For us, this not only denotes the cross of Jesus Christ but also encompasses the four directions from Native American culture. During our introduction, we had an opportunity to speak to the small group of children in attendance. I shared the song,“Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world.” I asked them if they could remember the colors in the song. “Yes,” they sang out, along with most of the adults. Everyone must know, “Jesus loves all the little children, red, yellow, black and white” – the human race. We were also blessed to share that these four colors embody the four colors of the Native American medicine wheel. The Bluemont United Methodist Church program had this verse on its cover, from the Bible book of Matthew 22:27-29, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart … soul … and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” What the Bluemont United Methodist Church did was recognize a people whom Jesus loves too -- Native Americans. We learned that our Bluemont community has been holding church services in this beautiful two-story stone building for more than 160 years. What we witnessed today reminds us, that as pretty as the building is, it is still just a building. The people are what make a church, a church. Thank you for showing love to your neighbor as yourself. We admired the devotion of your church’s people, beauty of your building and how much we are all similar to each other. Susan, you are truly our “Friend of Bluemont."
Methodist churches approved this day in 1988 to observe Native American contributions. Many United Methodist Church’s use this day to partner with existing Native ministries and create programs on behalf of Native Americans. A collection supports seminary scholarships for United Methodist Native Americans.
Bluemont United Methodist Church (built in 1851)
Surely the presence of the Lord Lyrics are by Janice Cowan
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place. I can feel God's mighty power and God's grace. I can hear the brush of angel's wings, I see glory on each face. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
In the midst of His children The Lord said He would be. It doesn't take very many It can be just two or three. And I feel that same sweet spirit That I felt oft times before. Surely I can say I've been with My Lord
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
I can feel God's mighty power and God's grace. I can hear the brush of angel's wings, I see glory on each face. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place.
There's a holy hush around us, As God's glory fills this place. I've touched the hem of God's garment, I can almost see God's face. And my heart is over flowing With the fullness of God's joy. And I know, without a doubt, That I've been with the Lord.
Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place. I can feel God's mighty power and God's grace. I can hear the brush of angel's wings, I see glory on each face. Surely the presence of the Lord is in this place
Spout-Run Paleo-Indian site owners are announcing dating results at the Bluemont Community Center on May 7 at 7:00 pm. The event is open to the public. The Bluemont Citizens Association invited the site owners to present findings to everyone who is interested in attending. The community center is a white building on the right side of Snickersville Turnpike and the largest building in the village of Bluemont in Northern Virginia. The address is 33846 Snickersville Turnpike, Bluemont, VA 20135. “We are briefing that this is the oldest extant above ground human structure in the United States,” said Chris White site owner. “We believe the rarity of this find deserves serious attention, so we are unveiling our Archeologist and Anthropologist dating results to you.
We are seeking people knowledgeable in pre-history preservation and restoration.
We also welcome those who wish to honor and respect our vision.
And we wish to thank those who have encouraged and supported us during these past four years of research.”
In his report, the Archeologist calls this “Spout-Run Paleoindian Complex,” “the oldest extant, above-ground, human-constructed structures in North America,” “constructed by Virginia’s First Engineers,” and “twice as old as Stonehenge.”
The find is in Bluemont, which crosses into both Loudoun and Clarke Counties, from the Shenandoah River up the mountain to Bears Den. “Opportunity has risen to preserve this sacred site, now and for our children, and future generations,” White said. “We appreciate your partnership and contributions toward uncovering the possibilities of this find, and the secrets that are yet to be revealed.” “If this unique site goes unprotected, or gets destroyed, we will never know the importance of its meaning. Any view into the past, is a learning and educational tool for the future. Once this is gone, it is gone, and there is no other to draw a resource from,” he added. Historically, the initial stories about the Paleoindian site were translated into multiple languages around the globe. The Bluemont community can expect international interest here again with the new results of this find.
Web Hosting by iPage Sanctuary on the Trail™ P.O. Box 123 Bluemont VA 20135 firstname.lastname@example.org www.NACofVA.org www.SanctuaryontheTrail.org The Gathering: email Info4TheGathering@gmail.com web site www.HarvestGathering.org