Oatlands Plantation is one of 19 historic properties of the United States National Trust for Historic Preservation and is located south of Leesburg, Virginia. Ninety percent of the original Oatlands property was sold during the past 150 years. Unfortunately, the original plantation was never mapped, and the location of many of the numerous structures, including the Oatlands Mills village, the slave quarters, and the slave cemetery are unknown. Analysis of multi-sensor imagery to locate and map plantation features was conducted during 1998–99 and again in 2004–05, and yielded a large number of soil and vegetation marks that when combined, appear to map out multiple buildings and a network of roads between them. Field investigations were conducted and correlated with image signatures and collateral data such as 19th century Civil War maps and modern geological survey maps. Soil moisture models were used to predict and verify otherwise hidden image features that were seen as a result of differential drying after rainfall. There is no question that the signatures found in the imagery represent pre-existing roads, ditches, and structures in the Oatlands area. It is difficult, however, to conclusively date the stone roads and artifacts that were found during the field investigations because of 20th century farming and artificial wetlands construction.
The following link will download a paper on this research that was presented at the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Education Summit held at Oatlands Plantation on 21 April 2006. The paper is a 1.7Mb PDF file.
Several prehistoric Indian camp sites are located in Nelson County, Virginia. Devils Knob (elev. 3851 feet) and Crawford Knob (elev. 3028 feet) are separated by the Laurel Springs Gap in the Blue Ridge mountain chain. This area is the narrowest point of the northern Blue Ridge, and prehistoric Indians must have found this gap to be a convenient crossing point between the Shenandoah Valley to the west and the Virginia Piedmont to the east.