Nestled in the "Between the Hills" valley, the land of the Blue Ridge Center has witnessed over 10,000 years of human occupation. The Blue Ridge Center uses all possible resources, from historic texts and documents, oral histories, to archaeological methods, to discover each story, how it relates to each of us and the land we tread each day.
The Blue Ridge Center explores the cultural history of the land and how the landscape has changed as a result of human impact. In 1999 the Blue Ridge Center approached Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi to establish an archaeological research project on the property to "demonstrate and describe the development and interaction through time of the natural and cultural systems." This project became known as the Loudoun Valley Historical Archaeology and Ecology Project (LVHAEP).
The Blue Ridge Center and LVHAEP have conducted 4 archaeological field schools and multiple smaller projects around the property. To date, 33 sites and features of past occupation and land use, some previously unknown, have been identified. All are 19th and 20th century sites, including the complex of a main house and its assorted out buildings; a stone house and barn; a cemetery plot; several log cabins and frame structures; dry-stone fences; a possible charcoal hearth; and other miscellaneous indicators of occupation such as foundation footprints. More information about the structures can be found on the history page.
The Blue Ridge Center continues to promote the efforts of the LVHAEP and supported a survey project during May 2010 with the help of Roanoke College's archaeological field school. While all previous research of the LVHAEP had focused on the 900 acres of the Blue Ridge Center, the 2010 field school helped implement Phase II of the LVHAEP by beginning to explore the archaeological resources of Loudoun Valley that lie beyond the Blue Ridge Center.
The LVHAEP is always seeking areas within the Loudoun Valley region for future archaeological survey. If you are a property owner who would like to support the efforts of the LVHAEP by allowing the project to survey your land for archaeological and historical resources, please contact us at email@example.com
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Collections and Cultural Resources
Since 2000, the Blue Ridge Center has served as a facility for intensive scientific, social and historical research. Collections of archaeological artifacts and reports have accumulated over the years; and now the Blue Ridge Center has the capability to preserve and use these collections unique to Loudoun county. We collect, preserve and make cultural resources available for education, interpretation and further research. Cultural resources include collections of artifacts, publications (books, articles, academic papers, etc.), photographs, natural specimens and any object(s) that contributes to the cultural and historical record.
The Blue Ridge Center maintains a collection of over 3,000 artifacts, including Native American lithics, Civil War artifacts, multiple historical structures, glass, pottery and other assorted materials dating from the late 18th century to the present.
Recent additions to our collection include artifacts from Millsaps College Archaeological Program, artifacts from Chris Fennel’s excavation at the Demory Cabin, and a possible Confederate Texas saddle as a gift from the Lovettsville Historical Society. For additional information about our collection, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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