can often determine race from the skull's facial characteristics.
the middle of the James River in Virginia lies Jamestown Island,
the site of the first permanent English colony in North America.
The English suffered sky-high death rates in the New World.
Were they hapless farmers? Beset by disease? Attacked by Indians?
In "What Happened at Jamestown?" Alan joins scientists using
natural and man-made evidence to learn all they can about
the terrible early days of the colony. Over the course of
a three-year dig, archaeologist Bill
Kelso uncovered what remained of the fort the colonists
built for protection. Butchered horse bones and fragments
of weapons within the fort indicate the colonists were starving
AND at war with the local Indians. But a man found at the
site, dubbed "JR" by forensic anthropologist Douglas Owsley,
clearly died from a gunshot wound. Whether he accidentally
shot himself or was shot by a fellow colonist, JR clearly
died at the hands of an English settler because the Indians
had no guns at the time. FRONTIERS works with Owsley, Kelso,
and an expert in historic firearms to clear up the mystery
of "who shot JR?"
learns about the grim conditions at Jamestown from curator
climatologist David Stahle
turns to the thousand-year-old cypress trees near Jamestown
to find out why the settlers starved in a region that would
later flourish agriculturally. Core samples from the venerable
trees reveal that the area experienced the worst drought in
700 years between 1607 and 1612, just when the settlers were
making their start. Little wonder the English suffered from
bad water and the Indians had no corn to trade.
more on this topic, see the web features:
Lessons from the Past