Archeologists unearth historic findings at Joint Base Langley-Eustis

A projectile point, estimated to be from the Archaic period, was found during an excavation at Joint Base Langley-Eustis, Va., Nov. 4, 2016. Archeologists and their teams excavated three new sites on the installation to determine their historical significance and record their findings. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Teresa J. Cleveland)

HAMPTON ROADS, Va. (WAVY) — Archeologists dug up some historic findings around Joint Base Langley-Eustis last month.

The 733rd Civil Engineer Division Environmental Element and other contractors started excavating three new sites at JBLE in November.

Archeologists and their teams began excavations after looking into installation records and maps from the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Dig tests were then performed. The tests make one meter by one meter holes about 20 to 50 feet apart, in an effort to look for artifacts or clues that point to the historic significance of the location.

“Surveys on these areas were done in the 1980s when the sites were found, so now we’re trying to determine if these sites have the potential to yield significant historical information and if they are eligible for the National Register of Historic Places,” said Andrew Wilkins, Louis Berger archeologist. “Our job is to figure out if they are important. That’s a matter of doing some more shovel testing a little closer together so we can find out where there are concentrations of artifacts.”

The archeologists found a few small projectile points, such as Arrowheads, and stone tools. Experts say they most likely date back to the Archaic period.

“Our studies tell about all people that lived in this area so the whole American experience can pretty much be experienced by looking at the archeological sites here at JBLE,” said Christopher McDaid, 733rd CED Environmental Element cultural resources manager and archeologist. “We have sites on this installation where people lived 10,000 years ago. We have sites where English colonists lived in 1618. The real takeaway is that all of Joint Base Langley-Eustis has significant pieces of American history on them.”