Virginia Indian

  • Bridled Horse Pipe

    This is one of three locally-made pipes with sculptured imagery found in colonial contexts in the entire Chesapeake region. A pipe with a salamander effigy came […]

  • Archaic Point

    Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists often find things that are centuries — if not millennia — older than the evidence of the fort built by English settlers in […]

    • Date

       February 7, 2015

    • Task

       Study Collection

    • Category

       Virginia Indian

  • Basket Pot

    Over the years, Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists have recovered European pottery right beside Virginia Indian ceramics. Because of their design and material, the two types were easy […]

  • Bone Needles

    Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists have found nearly 200 iron sewing needles from England that colonists would have used to mend clothes, tents, or even sails. Scattered amongst […]

  • Celts

    Prior to the introduction of iron, Virginia Indians used stone axes in a similar fashion to their English equivalents. These two greenstone celts (called “cunsenagwas” by the Algonquian) are made from a metamorphosed igneous rock commonly known as basalt, acquired through trade with other Native American groups. The Powhatan Indians were one of the most sophisticated and powerful peoples on the eastern seaboard of North America. The Powhatan chiefdom endured less than a century, but in that time it was a dominant force in the region and had a profound effect on the English colony planted in its midst. Until recently, our knowledge of the Powhatans came from what the English wrote about them and from the limited archaeological evidence provided by a few contact period sites. Now, 20 years of archaeological rediscovery at the James Fort site have produced a wealth of Native material to flesh out the story of the Powhatan chiefdom.

    For the Virginia Indians, producing a celt was a labor-intensive and time-consuming task. The base material was shaped into its final form by pecking and grinding with a rock that was harder than the tool itself. After the celt had been shaped into its final form, the tool was polished with sand and water. It is believed that these tools were hafted into a wooden handle and that the hard stone was excellent for cutting materials such as wood. Although Virginia Indians came to prize the English iron axes, traditional tools such as these continued in use.

  • Flesher

    From the beginning the Jamestown colony was encouraged to trade with the local Algonquians for fur to turn a profit for the Virginia Company. Furs were […]

  • Roanoke Simple Stamped Pot

    One of the most common ceramics in James Fort contexts of the 1607- 1610 period is Virginia Indian pottery. The 37,000 pieces of Indian pots found […]

  • Potomac Creek Pot

    Potomac Creek pottery is usually found by the Potomac River, but it also has been found on sites west to the Piedmont and south into Henrico […]