Hand Site Marker to be unveiled on Nov. 2

Published 11:54 am Wednesday, October 26, 2011

FRANKLIN—The unveiling of the Hand Site Marker will take place at noon Wednesday, Nov. 2, at General Thomas Highway and Handsom Road between Franklin and Newsoms.

The Hand Site is a known native American town that was long claimed by the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe of Southampton County. It dates back to around 700 AD. In 1965, 1966 and 1969 the site was excavated by an archeological crew under the guidance of Dr. Gerald Smith, who has since published his findings.

The late Russell Darden, an avocational archeologist from Southampton County, discovered the Hand Site many years ago prior to its’ excavation.

Some 131 graves were disturbed and the skeletal remains of the tribe’s native American ancestors’ bones, carbon dated to around 1580, were removed from the site and are housed in “shoe boxes” at the National Museum of Natural History at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C.

On Oct. 14, 2005, members of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe visited and viewed the bones at the NMNH.

The goal of the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe is to have the remains of their ancestors return to Southampton County and reburied on the 100 acres of recently claimed Tribal Land on Old Bridge Road in Courtland. The 100 acres was once part of some 41,000 acres of Reservation Land granted to the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe by the House of Burgesses in 1705.

The Hand Site Highway Marker is privately funded. The marker cost $1,500, of which, the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribe and the Cheroenhaka (Nottoway) Indian Tribal Heritage Foundation committed $1,000 and the ASV, Nansemond Chapter along with ASV HQ contributed $500.