The Science of Jamestown

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We will likely never know whether Pocahontas actually saved John Smith's life or was simply playing her appointed role in an Algonquin adoption ritual, in which Smith's reprieve represented his rebirth into the chiefdom. But archeological evidence does suggest that the adventurer might have spent time at Werowocomoco. Among tempered pottery fragments, arrowheads with fine projectile points, and other artifacts that place Powhatan Indians at Werowocomoco during the early 1600s, excavators found pieces of copper chemically identical to English copper uncovered at Jamestown. Experts think it likely that Smith carried the metal scraps seen here in hopes of establishing a trade agreement for food. Local Indians valued copper for its luster.

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