In Fairfax County, Virginia, county employees were digging into the ground to build a road shoulder, when they found a layer of macadam–an older sort of road surfacing, made up of a mix of small stones. They lifted that surface up. And underneath, they found a row of cedar logs, the remains of an old Virginia road, probably dating all the way to the Civil War, the Washington Post reports.
Log roads, also called corduroy roads, are an old form of surface transportation, dating back thousands of years. In the 1800s, they were webbed up and down the East Coast, and during the Civil War, troops from the North and South used them to move steadily towards each other, on long, slow marches.
The one that the Fairfax County employees found was in surprisingly good shape: there in the ground, the logs had been well-preserved. Archaeologists working with the county mapped, photographed, and tagged the site, before the county employees continued their work. But the archaeologists gathered enough information that they plan on making a virtual recreation of the road, before it was covered back up.
There’s a good reason to preserve it, as much as possible: it was likely is a section of “a major pathway in the war,” the Post says.
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