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Discovering Mathews County’s lost history

Five 17th century archaeological sites have been discovered in Mathews County by the Middle Peninsula Chapter of the Archaeological Society of Virginia. The organization will display its findings from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday during the Gwynn’s Island Festival.

The sites aren’t being identified by the ASV-MP to protect them from relic hunters, said members Forrest Morgan and Tom Karow in an interview Monday, but they did say that two sites are located along the East River and one is on the Piankatank River.

Workers, under the direction of archaeologist and chapter president Thane Harpole, turned up over 1,200 fragments of such 17th century items as a Bartmann jug, English delftware, and German westerwald stoneware. There were also pieces of gravel tempered earthenware, a wine bottle, Case bottle necks, and English and Virginia pipestems, all dating to the mid-to-late 1600s. One site yielded a number of belt buckles that might be as old as the late 1500s, said Morga...

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