Ancient History

Students discover 6,000-year-old axe at Mount Vernon.

Photo courtesy of George Washington’s Mount Vernon

At first glance, the piece of stone, seven inches long and three inches wide, bears little resemblance to an axe. Which may be why it went unnoticed for 60 centuries—until a group of high school students and teachers from Akron, Ohio, unearthed the millennia-old tool during a field trip to Mount Vernon. The discovery took place along a ridgeline that was used by communities of Virginia Indians beginning as long as 8,000 years ago. For Mount Vernon’s archaeologists, artifacts such as this help interpret the daily lives of people in the past. “The axe provides a window onto the lives of individuals who lived here nearly 6,000 years ago,” says Sean Devlin, Mount Vernon’s curator of archaeological collections. The find will join Mount Vernon’s rich archaeology collection of more than 50,000 artifacts. MountVernon.org

Upcoming Events at Mount Vernon

May 4-5 — Revolutionary War Weekend

May 17-19 — Spring Wine Festival & Sunset Tour

June 1 — Martha Washington’s Birthday Celebration

June 15 — Spring Garden Party

June 28-29 — Independence Fireworks

July 4 — An American Celebration


This article originally appeared in our February 2019 issue.

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