Blackrock Springs Site

The Blackrock Springs Site (44-AU-167) is an archaeological site in Shenandoah National Park, in Augusta County, Virginia, United States.

Blackrock Springs Site
Blackrock Springs Site.jpg
Overview, with the spring in the foreground
Blackrock Springs Site is located in Virginia
Blackrock Springs Site
Blackrock Springs Site is located in the United States
Blackrock Springs Site
LocationEastern side of the Blue Ridge at the source of Paine Run, Grottoes, Virginia
Coordinates38°12′30″N 78°45′9″W / 38.20833°N 78.75250°W / 38.20833; -78.75250Coordinates: 38°12′30″N 78°45′9″W / 38.20833°N 78.75250°W / 38.20833; -78.75250
Area0.4 acres (0.16 ha)
NRHP reference No.85003169[1]
VLR No.007-1149
Significant dates
Added to NRHPDecember 13, 1985
Designated VLRSeptember 16, 1982[2]

The site was discovered during the early 1970s as part of a comprehensive survey of the national park. It is one of fifteen sites that the survey found along Paine Run,[3]:135 a group that also includes the Paine Run Rockshelter and the unnamed 44-AU-154.[3]:136 Located near the stream's source at Blackrock Springs,[3]:90 the site measures approximately 150 by 60 metres (490 ft × 200 ft),[3]:89 although the survey concluded that it was only about 5 centimetres (2.0 in) deep.[3]:198 It was occupied during an exceptionally long period of time, beginning before 7000 BC and continuing until after 1000 BC;[3]:167 among the earliest artifacts found at Blackrock Springs is a St. Albans-related projectile point, and the most intensive uses appear to date from the middle to late Archaic period.[3]:92 This chronological distribution, together with the uneven physical distribution of artifacts (most were found in several small clusters, rather than being spread evenly around the site)[3]:104 and the nature of the artifacts found (approximately 98% of the three thousand items catalogued were pieces of locally obtained quartzite), led investigators to conclude that millennia of tribesmen in the Shenandoah Valley and the Piedmont used the site as a base camp for occasional hunting and gathering on the mountainside.[3]:168

The Blackrock Springs Site's archaeological value is so significant that it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in December 1985, together with the Paine Run shelter and site 44-AU-154.[1]


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  2. ^ "Virginia Landmarks Register". Virginia Department of Historic Resources. Archived from the original on 2013-09-21. Retrieved 2013-05-12.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i Foss, Robert Ward. Man and Mountain: An Archaeological Overview of the Shenandoah National Park. Thesis U of Virginia, 1977.