Roanoke Region Chert

Last Updated: April 4, 2023

Chert quarry, 44RN0096, Roanoke County, Virginia.

Goodwins Branch chert, 44RN0299, Roanoke County, Virginia

Indian Run chert, Montgomery County, Virginia.

Type Cherts

Collection Location:
There are many sources of chert in the greater Roanoke region. Examples discussed and illustrated include Goodwin’s Branch chert, site 44RN299 in Roanoke County; quarry 44RN0096; and Indian Run chert in Montgomery County.

Material generally occurs as fractured nodules eroding out of the soil. The color varies from a light grey to black with some beige and chalcedony. Quality ranges as well from the dull coarse grain to the high grade fine grain luster gray and blacks. The sizes of the nodules vary from 1.5 inches to pieces as big as a soccer ball.
Goodwin’s Branch chert 44RN0299: Color tends to be dark gray to black, but some ranges to chalcedony. Material generally has a dull luster. Similar material is found throughout southwest Roanoke County, but always near limestone formations.
Quarry 44RN0096: Large, mainly unfractured nodules of high quality black chert, with some smaller nodules of chalcedony.
Indian Run, Montgomery County: Fractured chert and chalcedony nodules varying widely in color, quality, and size. Southwest Roanoke County produces high quality chalcedony nodules.

The material is widely distributed in the surrounding counties in the Ridge and Valley region of Virginia.

Cultural Implications
This greatly diverse array of cherts was used throughout time, from Paleoindian to European contact.


Prepared By Egloff 2008