Archaeologists have uncovered almost 200 keys at James Fort. Most of the keys recovered from early fort-period contexts are related to coffers and chests, which would have been protected and decorated with escutcheons. In the first few years of the colony, there were few structures or rooms that could be locked for security: small, individually-owned boxes and chests were used by the colonists to transport their possessions to Virginia, and upon arrival to secure personal items. As conditions in the colony improved after the Starving Time winter of 1609-10, more refined structures and homes were constructed with rooms that could be locked. Archaeologists have found large door-lock keys, padlocks, and door-locking mechanisms in later 17th century contexts, highlighting the development of architecture within James Fort and increasing stability of the colony over time.