For the second time in four years, the work of the Jamestown Rediscovery staff has made Archaeology Magazine's list of Top 10 Discoveries of the Year worldwide. The find announced last May was the first forensic evidence of survival cannibalism in a European colony in North America.
The magazine wrote: "This year's discoveries span millennia, come to us from far-flung locales, and offer what archaeology can always be counted on to deliver: a close look at the astounding diversity and range of human innovation and creativity." Archaeology Magazine is published by the Archaeological Institute of America.
Jamestown archaeologists were also noted for the 2010 find of the first church structure at James Fort, the location of the wedding of Pocahontas to tobacco grower John Rolfe.
This year the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg and Preservation Virginia collaborated to confirm the fate of a young English girl that they named "Jane," though her real identity remains a mystery. The collaboration was prompted by the archaeological discovery of a partial human skull and tibia during excavation of an early 17th-century trash deposit at James Fort. The findings date to the winter of 1609-1610 -- often referred to as the "starving time" at Jamestown -- when sickness, starvation and Indian attacks led to the deaths of more than 200 men, women, and children crowded into James Fort. The forensic evidence confirms a desperate battle for survival.
Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by the National Park Service and The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (on behalf of Preservation Virginia) and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Guests to Historic Jamestowne share the moment of discovery with archaeologists and witness archaeology in action at the 1607 James Fort excavation April-October; learn about the Jamestown Rediscovery excavation at the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium, the site's archaeology museum; tour the original 17th-century church tower and reconstructed 17th-century Jamestown Memorial Church; and take a walking tour with a Park Ranger through the New Towne area along the scenic James River. Guests can also enjoy lunch or a snack by the James River at the Dale House Café. Information about visiting the island can be found by visiting www.historicjamestowne.org.
The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, a center for history and citizenship, is a not-for-profit educational institution and cultural destination. The Foundation is dedicated to promoting the importance of an informed, active citizenry. Its mission, "that the future may learn from the past," is realized through offering innovative, imaginative and interactive experiences – both on- and off-site – designed to educate guests about the importance of the American Revolution. From the RevQuest: Save the Revolution! series of technology-assisted alternate reality games, to the theatrical programming of Revolutionary City®, guests can become immersed in the drama of the American Revolution and discover the ongoing relevance of the past. Guests can also visit the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg, enjoy the many gardens and green spaces, and visit up to 35 historic sites. To experience all that the Foundation offers, guests may stay in one of the five award-winning Colonial Williamsburg hotels and enjoy the renowned golf courses of the Golden Horseshoe Golf Club, indulge in The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg and shop in 40 stores. Fine dining is offered in more than 20 locations from historic dining taverns to restaurants with contemporary fare. Colonial Williamsburg is open 365 days a year. A full schedule of programs and special events can be found by visiting www.colonialwilliamsburg.com.
Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia's cultural, architectural and historic heritage, thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. In 1893, Preservation Virginia acquired 22.5 acres of Jamestown Island, now part of Historic Jamestowne. In 1994, Preservation Virginia began an archaeological project called Jamestown Rediscovery to find the remains of the original James Fort, ca. 1607-1624. For more information, visit www.preservationvirginia.org.