Archaeologists have been excavating in Jamestown for more than 20 years. In April 2012, a team of Historic Jamestowne archeologists discovered something surprising in their excavation. In the trash layer of a cellar, among the butchered animal bones and household trash discarded by the Jamestown colonists, they found the mutilated skull and severed leg of a 14-year-old English girl dating back to 1609. What can these bones tell us about what really happened at Jamestown?
The archaeologists and scientists examine the bones excavated in the cellar at Jamestown. Unlike the bones of the burials, these bones have unusual cut marks, which were pointing to a possibility even more bizarre than murder. Could this be evidence of cannibalism?
Jamestown is doomed from the start: The colonists settle on a marshy island with no fresh water, where crops fail and malaria flourishes. Two years after its founding, the desperate colony of Jamestown still cannot feed itself. Already this is the third expedition sent to Virginia – a third emergency rescue mission. Will Jamestown be saved this time?
Jamestown, Virginia. The site of the first permanent English colony the Americas settled in 1607 and the home of the archaeological site “Historic Jamestowne” today. It has long been speculated that the harsh conditions faced by the colonists during the winter of 1609, often referred to as the “starving time,” might have made them desperate enough to participate in the unthinkable, and perhaps even commit murder to do so.