Book: B&W, 8 1/2 x 11 in, 377 pages, references.

Wm Jack Hranicky RPA

With Chris and Rene White

As is presented and argued, the Spout Run site is a paleo-era calendar and solar observatory (planisphere-like) site which measured seasons in the upper Shenandoah River valley. In addition to geological activities, such as toolmaking, hunting, and/or, gathering the maturation of fruits/plants, it was also used for social/religious ceremonies. The site has an observatory area for viewing the morning sun on the Blue Ridge Mountain in Clarke County, Virginia. It was probably the first Native American solar observatory. The sun’s summer solstice is marked by a ceremonial altar and sun dial, and other boulders that point to Virginia’s fall equinox. The site has several possible ceremonial areas. The various site features create a site complex covering nearly 5 acres. The report is the results of five years of archaeological research and investigation.

Spout Run Site Map

This report details the geo/astro-archaeological investigative methods, analysis, and conclusions for the site. This site is unique in Virginia for its paleo-era association, and its summer solstice orientation has been confirmed on other Virginia paleosites. There is also a winter solstice orientation. However, its principal layout orientation is the equinoxes. Additionally, the site contains an altar which was probably used for a summer solstice ceremony. This investigation established a possible ceremonial/calendar for exploitation by early Virginians in the upper Shenandoah River valley.

Major Topics:

  • Spout Run's physical provenance
  • Basic site operating principles
  • Archaeological research and investigation
  • Site stone circles
  • Site solar alignments, solstices and equinoxes
  • Sun dials
  • Site rockart
  • Various boulder configurations, altar, and standing stones
  • Effigy artifacts
  • TL Date: 10,400 years before present
  • References.

Basic Operating Principles for the Site

In analyzing the Spout Run site, the following principles were used and analyzed archaeologically:

  • Spout Run was a solar (and probable lunar) observatory[1]
  • Spout Run was constructed by moving (probably on ice) large boulders
  • Spout Run’s above-ground features work best in a grassland environment
  • Spout Run was a line-of-sight observation of boulder-to-mountain outcrop configurations
  • Spout Run had multiple observation stations for solar events, such as noon-to-noon and annual solar time measurements, including solstices and equinoxes positions in the Blue Ridge Mountain
  • Spout Run had multiple ceremonial areas.




Effigy from the Site.

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The Spout Run Site (44CK151):
An Early American Stone Circles and Dual Solstice Site