Cannibalism proof named Top 10 find in the world in 2013

For the second time in four years, the work of the Jamestown Rediscovery staff has made Archaeology Magazine’s list of Top 10 Discoveries of the Year worldwide. The find announced last May was the first forensic evidence of survival cannibalism in a European colony in North America.

The magazine wrote: “This year’s discoveries span millennia, come to us from far-flung locales, and offer what archaeology can always be counted on to deliver: a close look at the astounding diversity and range of human innovation and creativity.” Archaeology Magazine is published by the Archaeological Institute of America.

Jamestown archaeologists were also noted for the 2010 find of the first church structure at James Fort, the location of the wedding of Pocahontas to tobacco grower John Rolfe.

This year the Smithsonian Institution, Colonial Williamsburg and Preservation Virginia collaborated to confirm the fate of a young English girl that they named “Jane,” though her real identity remains a mystery. The collaboration was prompted by the archaeological discovery of a partial human skull and tibia during excavation of an early 17th-century trash deposit at James Fort. The findings date to the winter of 1609-1610 — often referred to as the “starving time” at Jamestown — when sickness, starvation and Indian attacks led to the deaths of more than 200 men, women, and children crowded into James Fort. The forensic evidence confirms a desperate battle for survival.

For the magazine’s full list, visit:

Preservation Virginia, a private non-profit organization and statewide historic preservation leader founded in 1889, is dedicated to perpetuating and revitalizing Virginia’s cultural, architectural and historic heritage thereby ensuring that historic places are integral parts of the lives of present and future generations. Preservation Virginia provides leadership, experience, influence and services to the public and special audiences by saving, managing, and protecting historic places, and developing preservation policy, programs, and strategies with individuals, organizations, and local, state, and national partners.

Historic Jamestowne is jointly administered by Preservation Virginia and the National Park Service and preserves the original site of the first permanent English settlement in the New World.