Petrified Wood

Last Updated: April 4, 2023

Petrified wood, Sussex County, Virginia.

Type Silicified

Collection Location:
Petrified or silicified wood is found in the Triassic gravel deposits east of the Fall Line in the James River, Appomattox, Nottoway, and Meherrin rivers. Eroding river banks may produce ‘logs’ of this material.

Highly silicified examples flake with a good conchoidal fracture. However, most of the flakes at the Point-of-Rock site in Cheserfield County are of low quality material. This suggests that fine quality silicified wood is found in masses where low quality predominates. The silicified wood at the Point-of-Rock site was dark yellow-brown and translucent, or dark gray when freshly flaked. This material weathers into a banded deep blue, purple, or white, or all three colors in the same piece.

Material is found rarely along the Fall Line and the interior Coastal Plain from Richmond south to the North Carolina. It is even rarer in other places in Virginia.

Cultural Implications
Clovis and Early Archaic points and end scrapers were made from the material.


Prepared By Egloff 2008