Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Virginia


Falling Creek Archaeology Site

Falling Creek Archaeology Site, Richmond, Cheaterfield Co, (37.439454, -77.4384)

Felling dates ranges: After 1712, after 1725, and 1760-70

Foundation timbers 1700, 1724; large timber block 1740; Stub of timber (0/1); Bottom rail (0/1)

Site Masters fct1 1563-1700 (t = 8.6 WVVAP; 7.4 TUVA; 4.0 PIEDMO; 3.7 MONTP); fct3 1518-1724 (t = 9.6 MONTP; 9.5 PIEDMO; 6.8 WVVAP; 6.7 TUVA); fct11 1644-1740 (t = 4.8 EYREHALL; 4.8 VA021; 4.7 OMB; 4.5 WATCH).

Falling Creek Ironworks was established in 1619 by the Virginia Company of London in Henrico Cittie (sic) on Falling Creek, near its confluence with the James River. It was the first iron production works in North America, although it was short-lived due to an attack by Native Americans in 1622 (Wikipedia). A long-buried timber structure was found exposed during heavy rains during the winter of 2007, and were thought to have related to this early 17th century ironworks. However, dendrochronology has shown that the timbers date from the middle of the 18th century, and are either a later phase of rebuilding, or relate to an entirely different structure altogether. It probably relates to the forge built by Archibald Cary that operated from 1750 to 1781.

Worthington, M J, and Miles, D W H 2007 ‘The Tree-Ring Dating of Falling Creek Archaeology Site, Chesterfield County, Virginia’, unpubl ODL archive report 2007/15




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230