Jamestown Dig named One of Archaeology Magazine’s Top Ten Discoveries of 2015

Nearly 20 years after unearthing the lost remains of America’s first permanent English settlement, Jamestown archaeologists have attracted world attention again with one of Archaeology Magazine’s Top Ten discoveries of 2015. This is the third time the project has made the list since uncovering the town’s historic 1608 church in 2010.

Excavations of four burials at the 1608 Jamestown Church site in James Fort. Burials (left to right) JAMESFORT-APV-2993B, JAMESFORT-APV-2992C, JAMESFORT-APV-3046C, and JAMESFORT-APV-170C. Preservation Virginia performed excavations between November 18 and November 21, 2013. Dr. Douglas Owsley, Curator, and Kari Bruwelheide, Museum Specialist, from the Division of Physical Anthropology at the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History performed in situ analysis of the burials.

Excavations of four burials at the 1608 Jamestown Church site in James Fort. 

So far, four bodies have been found in unearthed graves. Best of all, their identities have been determined. In addition to the Jamestown and Smithsonian scientists, the team included genealogists from Ancestry.com, who compiled a list of colonists buried between 1608 and 1610 — then pinpointed their ages at their time of death. That list was then compared with the forensic data gleaned from an exhaustive study of human remains which revealed biological ages and social status of those bodies. As a result, the team has identified the four of bodies as:

  • The Rev. Robert Hunt, who was Jamestown’s first clergyman.
  • Capt. Gabriel Archer, a veteran explorer, lawyer and councilor who often clashed with Capt. John Smith over the colony’s direction.
  • Sir Ferdinando Wainman, who served as master of ordnance and councilor before his death.
  • Capt. William West, who died battling the Indians.

You can read much more in an article by Mark St. John Erickson at http://goo.gl/74Dy1N.

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