GWYNN'S ISLAND MUSEUM


EARLIEST KNOWN MAN MADE STONE TOOL FOUND IN THE AMERICAS

THE CINMAR DISCOVERY

PLEASE CLICK ON THE STONE BLADE TO GO TO
THE CINMAR DISCOVERY
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For photos from the GRAND OPENING of OUR NEW ADDITION, please click here


 VISIT OUR NEW SECTION HONORING OUR LOCAL VETERANS

PLEASE CLICK HERE!!



FREE ADMISSION
BUT WE RELY ON YOUR DONATIONS TO HELP DEFRAY EXPENSES
~handicap access available~

Hours: 1-5pm, Fri., Sat. & Sun. April through October.
Tours can be arranged year round for groups of 8 or more by appointment.

Thomas D. Edwards

Director of Gwynn's Island Museum
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mailing address for all Museum Business
107 Millstone Lane, Hudgins, VA 23076
804 725-5022    tdedwards141@gmail.com
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  Jean Tanner
Former Director of Gwynn's Island Museum

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THANK YOU PAT KUROVICS

FOR ALL YOUR HELP





Museum Director Jean Tanner holds a Rhenishware English jug (c.1750) now on display in the museum.  She reconstructed the jug from pieces she and her family found over several months on Gwynn's Island.
Photo by Craig Moran, Daily Press, 1990




















































































































GWYNN'S ISLAND MUSEUM

EARLIEST KNOWN MAN MADE STONE TOOL FOUND IN THE AMERICAS
THE CINMAR DISCOVERY

Since 1922 it was believed that the first hunters /gatherers to migrate to the Americas crossed the Bering Strait land mass from Siberia approximately 12,000 years ago and eventually traveled south through the west coast of North and South America. In 1922 the remains of a mammoth were uncovered in Clovis, New Mexico along with a distinctive man made stone arrow point, a type which had not been seen before in the Americas. Since it was found in Clovis, New Mexico the point was called a Clovis point.  Subsequent research found similar points were common in Siberia, therefore, the theory went that the first people to settle in the Americas were from Siberia who gradually migrated westward across the ice covered Bering Straits, then southward along the west coast of the Americas, hence the Mongolian features such as coarse black hair, high cheekbones and slanted eyes found in many of the native Americans.

In 1970 Captain Thurston Shawn of Mathews County, Va., skipper of the scallop dredger Cinmar, out of Hampton, Va. was dredging 40 miles off the Virginia Capes in 240 feet of water at the edge of the Continental Shelf. After one particular dredge haul, he found in the dredge an ivory mammoth tusk, a large molar and a stone knife blade. He later sawed the tusk into sections and divided it amongst the crew and kept part of the tusk, the molar and the stone blade.  Several years later, Mr. Dean Parker of Mathews Co. acquired these 3 artifacts from Capt. Shawn and in 2002 loaned them to the Gwynn’s Island Museum for exhibition.

Click here for more about the Cinmar Discovery

































































































GWYNN'S ISLAND MUSEUM
EARLIEST KNOWN MAN MADE STONE TOOL FOUND IN THE AMERICAS
THE CINMAR DISCOVERY
In 2009, Darrin Lowery, an archeology doctoral student specializing in Paleo- Indian history was working in the area, and because it was raining, stopped by the Museum. After browsing through some of the Indian artifacts, he came across the small display case containing the 3 items dredged up by Thurston Shawn and became very excited. He called his friend and adviser Dennis Stanford, Ph.D and Curator of the Paleo-Indian Program at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History saying “I think you should get down here as soon as possible. This little museum on Gwynn’s Island has some very exciting artifacts”. The following weekend he and Dennis Stanford came to the Gwynn’s Island Museum to see the artifacts. Extremely excited, Dr. Stanford obtained permission from Dean Parker and took the bi-faced blade, mammoth molar and tusk section back with him to the Smithonian for further research. After 2 years of testing which included carbon dating, DNA tests, and X-rays, it was concluded that the mammoth was a 30 year old female who died approximately 20,000 years ago which also dated the bi-faced blade. It was also established that the blade was made from rhyolite, a stone material found in South Mountain near Emmitsburg, MD.  20,000 years ago the edge of the Continental shelf was dry land, gradually submerging under water over the next 10,000 years due to the ice melt which stretched from western Europe to what is now the eastern U.S. Coincidentally, similar biface blades have been discovered in an area of western Europe called Solutrean, now known as France, Spain and Portugal, leading to the hypothesis shared by Dennis Stanford and others that 20,000 plus years ago, hunter / gatherers followed the ice mass that crossed the North Atlantic in skin boats. They not only caught fish but hunted for seals , which  provided them with food and also clothing and skin for their boats. It is also possible that as they followed the ice shelf, they eventually reached the mid Atlantic coastline with warmer temperatures and a more hospitable environment.

The original bi-face blade found by Thurston Shawn, will eventually be on display in the Smithsonian Institution, but an exact replica, along with the original mastodon molar and tusk section are in a special display at the Gwynn’s Island Museum. We are proud to have played a part in one of the most significant discoveries in North America.

The Gwynn's Island Museum would like to thank Dr. Dennis Stanford and the Smithsonian Institution for providing the display and case.



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THE
GWYNN'S ISLAND MUSEUM
DRIVING DIRECTIONS
HISORTIC MARKER approaching Gwynn's Island, en route to the Museum.  All roads lead to the Museum.  Take Route 223 in Hudgins, Virginia.  Cross over the Gwynn's Island Bridge at Cricket Hill.  You are now on Old Ferry Road.  Follow the road through the Gwynn's Island Cemetery,  look for the MUSEUM SIGN on your left and you're here!


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GWYNN'S ISLAND MUSEUM
BOOKS SOLD ONLINE OR AT OUR GIFT SHOP
THE BLACK AMERICANS OF GWYNN'S ISLAND, 1600'S TO 1900
by John W. Dixon, $20.00 + s/h

GWYNN'S ISLAND by David Ryan -new edition, $19.95 + s/h

THE BAY by Gilbert Klingel, $20.00 + s/h

CHERRY POINT, A NOVEL FOR YOUNG READERS
by Charlene Hudgins Klima, $9.95 + s/h

GWYNN'S ISLAND TIMES by Elsa Verbyla Cooke, $15.00 + s/h

THE GOVERNORS' ISLAND by Peter Jennings Wrike,
 H.B. $15.00 +s/h, S.B. $10.00 + s/h


GWYNN'S ISLAND, A BRIEF HISTORY by John Dixon, $8.00 + s/h

THE MATHEWS MEN
by William Geroux, $25.00 + s/h

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GWYNN'S ISLAND MUSEUM
THE KLINGEL COLLECTION

Gilbert Klingel
Author, boatbuilder, naturalist, underwater explorer, metallurgist and much more.










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GWYNN'S ISLAND MUSEUM
CITATION CROAKER
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