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HomeArchaeology, New Discoveries and the Story of Jamestown

Archaeology, New Discoveries and the Story of Jamestown

Facial Reconstruction of Jane
Spend an evening exploring Jane's Story through the eyes of an archaeologist, a forensic anthropologist and an historian. Join Drs. William Kelso, Doug Owsley, and James Horn as they discuss the groundbreaking collaborative efforts behind the archaeological discovery of "Jane" that lead to the confirmation of the first scientifically-proven occurrence of survival cannibalism in Colonial America. The lecture will be held on Wednesday, May 22 at 7 p.m. at Colonial Williamsburg’s Kimball Theatre.

The collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg and the Jamestown Rediscovery Project of Preservation Virginia was prompted by the archaeological discovery of partial human remains during excavation of an early 17th-century trash deposit at Jamestown, Va. The remains, identified as those of a 14-year-old English girl, were named "Jane" by the research team. Based on the anthropological evidence of her diet and the archaeological layer where her partial remains were found, researchers believe "Jane" arrived in Jamestown in August 1609, just months before the worst of the "starving time." The winter of 1609-1610 -- often referred to as the "starving time" – brought sickness, starvation and Indian attacks which led to the deaths of more than 200 men, women, and children crowded into James Fort.

For the past twenty years, the Jamestown Rediscovery® Project at Historic Jamestowne, initiated to find the remains of the original James Fort, has established the location of the fort and principal buildings, and recovered more than 1.5 million artifacts. The project has reshaped our perspective of early settlers' daily life and purpose, their relations with Indian peoples, and revealed a narrative of human endeavor and perseverance that laid the foundations of British America and ultimately the United States.

Dr. William Kelso is director of the Jamestown Rediscovery® Project and author of Jamestown: The Buried Truth. Dr. Doug Owsley is the division head for physical anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Dr. James Horn is the vice president for research and historical interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and author of A Land As God Made It: Jamestown and the Birth of America.

Tickets are $10 and can be purchased by calling 1-800-HISTORY. This program is presented jointly by The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and Historic Jamestowne.
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List of Early Settlers

Featured Tours
In the Trenches
In the Trenches Curator's Artifact Tour
Curator's Artifact Tour

Jane, The Book and Video

Jamestown: The Buried Truth

America in 1607: Jamestown and the Powhatan

Jamestown Rediscovery Preservation Virginia Colonial Williamsburg National Park Service 757-229-4997
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