Archaeologists have uncovered numerous keys at James Fort. Most of the keys recovered from early fort-period contexts are related to coffers and chests. This is because there were few structures or rooms that could be locked up and secured in the first few years of the colony: the small boxes and chests were a way for colonists to secure their personal items. As conditions in the colony improved, more refined structures were constructed with rooms that could be locked. Archaeologists have found large door-lock keys in later 17th century contexts.