Park Authority

Fairfax County, Virginia

CONTACT INFORMATION: Open during regular business hours 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

703-324-8700
TTY 711

12055 Government Center Pkwy.
Fairfax, Virginia 22035

Sara Baldwin,
Acting Executive Director

Projectile Point Points to Ancient History of Mount Air

Piscataway Point Recovered by FCPA Archaeologists.
Piscataway Point Recovered by FCPA Archaeologists.

The Mount Air Historic Site is best known for its former mansion, but a recent discovery is providing insight into a far distant past.

The Mount Air mansion was built by the prominent McCarty family in the mid-1700s.  It passed down through generations, was only sold outside the family once, and then acquired by the Fairfax County Park Authority. Unfortunately, prior to it becoming a park, the manor house burned.

Fire Consumes Mount Air on May 19, 1992.
Fire Consumes Mount Air on May 19, 1992.

Archaeology and Collection Branch archaeologists recently conducted excavations on the Mount Air property to better understand the site, recovering artifacts from the 1700s through modern times. In one location, the archaeologists identified deposits much older than those for which the property is best known. The archaeologists discovered Piscataway and Fishtail projectile points. These types of points are known to have been made by Native Americans in Virginia during the Early Woodland period, between 1200 and 500 BCE. Because of this discovery, we can begin to tell a more complete story about the park and the people who lived there throughout its history.

Fishtail Point Recovered by FCPA Archaeologists.
Fishtail Point Recovered by FCPA Archaeologists.

Learn more about work at the site on our blog, Our Stories and Perspectives, Archaeology at the Mount Air Historic Site.

Fairfax Virtual Assistant