Home From the Wires Skeleton confirms cannibalism at Jamestown colony

Skeleton confirms cannibalism at Jamestown colony

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Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Washington Post: Skeleton fragments of a teenage girl show proof that cannibalism occurred during the "starving time" of winter of 1609-1610 in Jamestown.

About 300 people inhabited the fort in November 1609. By spring, there were only 60. The girl, most likely a maidservant but possibly the daughter of a colonist, was one of the casualties.

That cannibalism occurred during the colony’s “starving time” was never in much doubt. At least a half-dozen accounts, by people who lived through the period or spoke to colonists who did, describe occasional acts of cannibalism that winter. They include reports of corpses being exhumed and eaten; a husband killing his wife and salting her flesh (for which he was executed); and the mysterious disappearance of foraging colonists.

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