Building Outwards

During the 2016 field season, archaeologists discovered a large cellar at the northeast corner of James Fort’s 1608 addition. It seems likely that the building associated with the cellar is indeed from the fort period (ca. 1607-1624). Artifacts from the fill layers are typical of the fort period: pig bones, trade beads, scraps of copper, iron nails, a lead cloth seal, and a Krauwinckel jetton (a casting counter that may have helped calculate accounts with Roman numbers).

In the bottom of the cellar the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists located a square shaped well shaft. Archaeologists expected to find a wooden lining to the well shaft like the one seen in a circa 1610 square well found in the northern corner of the triangular portion of the fort. The wooden frame should have survived below the level of the water table due to the anaerobic, or oxygen-free, conditions that will likely have prevented bacteria from thriving and degrading the wooden structure.

explore the artifacts