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Old 05-01-2013, 06:41 PM  
Rain Man Rain Man is offline
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Jamestown settlers tasted like chicken.

Mmmmm, colonist.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/nation...y.html?hpid=z2

The first chops, to the forehead, did not go through the bone and are perhaps evidence of hesitancy about the task. The next set, after the body was rolled over, were more effective. One cut split the skull all the way to the base.

“The person is truly figuring it out as they go,” said Douglas Owsley, a physical anthropologist at the Smithsonian Institution.

In the meantime, someone — perhaps with more experience — was working on a leg. The tibia bone is broken with a single blow, as one might do in butchering a cow.

That’s one possible version of an event that took place sometime during the winter of 1609-1610 in Jamestown. What’s certain is that some members of that desperate colony resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.

That cannibalism occurred during the colony’s “starving time” was never in much doubt. At least a half-dozen accounts, by people who lived through the period or spoke to colonists who did, describe occasional acts of cannibalism that winter. They include reports of corpses being exhumed and eaten, a husband killing his wife and salting her flesh (for which he was executed) and the mysterious disappearance of foraging colonists.

The proof comes in the form of fragments of a skeleton of a girl, about age 14, found in a cellar full of debris in the fort on the James River that sheltered the starving colonists. The skull, lower jaw and leg bone — all that remain — have the telltale marks of an ax or cleaver and a knife.

“Historians have to decide whether this type of thing happened,” said Owsley, who has examined thousands of skeletal remains, both archaeological and forensic. “I think that it did. We didn’t see anybody eat this flesh. But it’s very strong evidence.”

James Horn, head of research at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and a historian on the colony, said the discovery “adds a significant confirmation to what was reported to have occurred at Jamestown.” Further, it’s the only physical evidence of cannibalism of Europeans in any New World colony, although, as with Jamestown, there are written accounts of the practice in others.

“I tend to be sparing in the use of words like ‘unique.’ But I think this is one of those finds that literally is,” Horn said.

About 300 people inhabited the fort in November 1609. By spring, there were only 60. The girl, most likely a maidservant but possibly the daughter of a colonist, was one of the casualties.

Her bones were unearthed last August as part of the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeological project begun in 1994. About 18 inches of fill remain in the cellar, so it’s possible more of her skeleton will be found. Enough of her skull exists, however, to imagine what she might have looked like, using CT scanning, computer graphics, sculpture materials and demographic data.

The bones, the reconstruction of her head and the story were presented Wednesday at an event at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. They will be displayed at the Archaearium, the museum at the Jamestown fort archaeological site, starting this weekend. A warning sign at the room’s entrance notes that human remains are on view. There are no depictions of bodies being butchered, cooked or consumed.
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:53 PM   #2
JoeyChuckles JoeyChuckles is offline
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Old 05-01-2013, 06:58 PM   #3
Johnny Vegas Johnny Vegas is offline
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