Monday, January 22, 2007

Amateur archaeology update Ironworks uncovered at Falling Creek
The ruins of a 17th-century iron blast furnace built by some of the country's first settlers have been uncovered along the banks of Falling Creek in Chesterfield County.

Historians say the furnace, built around 1619 by the Virginia Company of London, is a significant find because it is the first ironworks in North America and the earliest known evidence of heavy industry in the New World.

County officials yesterday announced the find, made five weeks ago by county public utilities employee Ralph Lovern, an amateur archaeologist who frequently combed the area looking for Indian artifacts.