Twelve clear quartz triangular projectile points have been found by the Jamestown Rediscovery Project. Most of these points (called raputtak in Algonquian) are intact. Click here to learn more.
Captain John Smith named Gosnold the “prime mover” of the founding Jamestown. He commanded the Godspeed and was among the early members of the Jamestown governing council. Click here to learn more.
The discolored-soil outline of a burial shaft aligned with James Fort’s west wall and beneath a shallow trashpit revealed what could be the forgotten grave of Jamestown’s prime founder, ship’s Captain Bartholomew Gosnold. A captain’s leading staff appeared on the coffin lid. Click here to learn more.
These fragments of a child's first shoe, found in a c. 1617 filled well, are one of the few archaeological representations of children at Jamestown. Click here to learn more.
Bodkins, once a tool to lace corsets and bodices, transformed into decorative headpieces. They provide a rare glimpse into women's lives at Jamestown. Click here to learn more.
A Jamestown colonist used this beautiful dolphin to scrape scale from teeth, clean dirt from fingernails, and scoop out earwax. This earpick belonged to someone of high status who would have worn it openly to display that high standing. Click here to learn more.
In 2012, Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologists working in a 1608 James Fort cellar discovered the mutilated skull and severed leg bone of an English teenage girl. She was found among butchered animal bones and other food remains discarded by the Jamestown colonists during the “starving time” winter of 1609-1610. Click here to learn more.
A buckler is a small leather hand-held shield with a spiked central iron element called a boss. The buckler was still useful to a colonist in Virginia engaged in hand-to-hand fighting that did not follow the European rules of swordplay. Click here to learn more.
Fifty halberdiers arrived at Jamestown in 1610 to serve as the personal guard of the new governor Thomas West, the Lord De La Warr. The griffin heads on the blades reflect the West family crest. Click here to learn more.
Robert Cotton, “tobacco-pipe-maker,” arrived in Jamestown in April 1608 as one of the earliest craftsmen. These pipes are made of native Virginia clay and bear his name. Click here to learn more.
Stamped “YAMES TOWNE” with individual die stamps, this small lead shipping tag probably marked a container of goods once warehoused in England. This is the first object found by Jamestown archaeologists that indicates the colony as an address. Click here to learn more.
A crucible is an “industrial strength” vessel that can withstand the very high heat that glass making requires without exploding. Because of the early date, it is possible that it may have been used to produce the tryal of glasse that Captain Christopher Newport took to London later in 1608. Click here to learn more.
European traders came to rely heavily on the Indians as skilled middlemen involved in trapping and preparing furs for export. After removing the hide, Virginia Indians used a tool carved from the long bones of a large animal to take off the remaining thin layer of flesh and fat. Click here to learn more.
These two greenstone celts (called “cunsenagwas” by the Algonquian) are made from a metamorphosed igneous rock commonly known as basalt, acquired through trade with other Native American groups. Click here to learn more.
Ribbed mussels, known as tshecomah, were abundant in the brackish estuarine marshes around Jamestown. It appears that rawrenock (mussel shell beads) were made by Indian women living and working at James Fort. Click here to learn more.
This ceramic vessel appears to have been made by colonist and English pipe-maker Robert Cotton but has impressions of a Virginia Indian basket on the exterior. It is evidence that in James Fort there was a complex cultural exchange between English and the Powhatan Indians. Click here to learn more.
This silver box, placed on top of Gabriel Archer's coffin, is thought to be a reliquary containing human bones and an offertory ampulla. Like the jet crucifix, it is one of many Catholic items found at the Protestant Jamestown settlement. Click here to learn more.
This slate was found in a c.1608-1610 well in the center of James Fort. The artwork includes sketches of three men, a woman, and heraldic drawings of fleur-de-lis on one side, and four lions, two men, three birds, and a tree on the other. Click here to learn more.
This small trumpet may be the earliest English trumpet in America identified thus far. The Jamestown colonists used trumpets to announce their arrivals at Indian villages. Click here to learn more.
By pulling a string wrapped around the rod of this toy windmill, you would be able to make the blades spin. You could then rewind the string on the rod by turning the blades in the opposite direction and start all over again—a 17th century yo-yo! Click here to learn more.
During the "Starving Time" winter of 1609-1610, the colonists ate anything they could including their animals. Archaeologists have found butchered dog bones in the First Well and a Fort Period cellar. Click here to learn more.
Horse bones and riding equipment have been found at the fort site. Like dogs, horses were used for food during the 1609-1610 "Starving Time" winter. Click here to learn more.
This ring probably once belonged to poet and playwright William Strachey, who survived a hurricane and shipwreck on the Sea Ventureon his way to Virginia in 1609. It bears the official crest of the Strachey family. Click here to learn more.
In 1609, passengers aboard the Sea Venture, bound for Jamestown, were shipwrecked for nine months on Bermuda. These bones, belonging to a cahow bird (Bermuda petrol), were found in James Fort. Click here to learn more.
In 1611, Governor Sir Thomas Dale ordered that all men had to wear plate armor to protect themselves from deadly Indian arrows. This complete breastplate was found in a well that was filled in by 1625 and is of the peascod shape typical in the early 17th century. Click here to learn more.
2019 marked the 400th anniversary of the First Africans arriving in Virginia. Among them was Angelo (Angela). Archaeological excavations at the Angela Site help reveal her story. Click here to learn more.
The window lead section seen here is stamped E.W.*1693*R.A., and was found in a brick-lined cellar also containing several intact wine bottles from ca. 1680-1700. Click here to learn more.
This pipe features the face of a bridled horse. It is one of only three locally-made pipes with sculptured imagery found in colonial contexts in the entire Chesapeake region. Click here to learn more.
The artifacts featured here are just some of the thousands of items on display at the Archaearium.