The Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists have worked around dozens of James Fort graves to leave them undisturbed. But in a few cases the story they can tell is worth the extra time and care the archaeologists can give a burial investigation.
Near the south wall of James Fort was a burial with a skeleton that had been shot in the lower right leg. Forensic studies on JR102C -- "JR" -- pointed to the skeleton being that of a young gentleman who had not lived in Virginia long. There was no sign of medical treatment of the wound, nor of healing, so the force of the lead musket ball likely severed an artery, causing him to bleed to death in a matter of minutes. JR's face has been reconstructed, and his story is told in the Archaearium at Historic Jamestowne.
Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists also found a burial outside the western wall of James Fort that could be that of Captain Bartholomew Gosnold, a major planner of the colony. The skeleton was buried with a captain's ceremonial staff in a gable-lidded coffin -- trappings befitting the man who organized the settlement of Jamestown after he explored and named Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard. Gosnold was 36 years old when he died in August 1607 after a three-week illness. His remains are also on view at the Archaearium.