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Halloween Countdown, Day 20

"[N]otheinge was spared to mainteyne Lyfe and to doe those things w[hi]ch seame incredible..."
- George Percy, 1609

This is another case of real history being darker than any ghost story.

Three years ago, an excavation project at the Historic Jamestowne archaeological site conducted in a 1608 James Fort cellar yielded a remarkable and disturbing find from the settlement's Starving Time of 1609-1610: the first scientifically-proven example of survival cannibalism in Colonial America. Here is a video clip showing how archaeologists and forensic anthropologists, after months of delicate work, decoded the clues in the (teenage female) human remains.

As dark as this is, there is light, too. Science and artistry both have been used to bring the story -- and the face -- of the approximately 14-year-old young woman to our awareness. She is no longer forgotten. Meet Jane.

During my visit last month, I found that a "Jane’s Story" exhibit has been added to the special room of the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium that explores death in Jamestown's early years. The dig where Jane was found is still an active excavation site.

* Here is a list of links to different news articles published about Jane.
* Here is the "Jane's Story" section of the Historic Jamestowne website.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Oct. 20th, 2015 12:44 pm (UTC)
It's worth noting that today is the day Bela Lugosi was born back in 1882.
Oct. 21st, 2015 01:21 am (UTC)
Good catch! *raises a glass of dark red not-blood in his honor*
Oct. 21st, 2015 11:00 am (UTC)
I'd heard about the cannibalism at Jamestown, so I'm really interested in the video clip. I guess it just goes to show how far humans will go to survive.
Oct. 31st, 2015 01:06 am (UTC)
Very true.

I hope you find the video clip useful. I just finished the short booklet Jane: Starvation, Cannibalism, and Endurance at Jamestown, which is a companion to the documentary of the same name, and I found it to be excellent.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )