Skip to comments.'Proof' Jamestown settlers turned to cannibalism
Posted on 05/01/2013 6:13:03 PM PDT by Altariel
Newly discovered human bones prove the first permanent English settlers in North America turned to cannibalism over the cruel winter of 1609-10, US researchers have said.
Scientists found unusual cuts consistent with butchering for meat on human bones dumped in a rubbish pit.
The four-century-old skull and tibia of a teenage girl in James Fort, Virginia, were excavated from the dump last year.
James Fort, founded in 1607, was the earliest part of the Jamestown colony.
(Excerpt) Read more at bbc.co.uk ...
For the last time, I wasn’t an eyewitness!
No one saw me, you can’t prove anything.
(Gods graves glyphs ping)
She’s got an evil look. Who’s to say why she became food instead of someone else. Maybe she was messing around with someone’s husband or stealing food or she died of illness or something more natural than a butcher knife.
It WAS you, Vizzini.
What? The “noble” “Native Americans” didn’t bring them food?
BBC British biting cannibals.
She's got the "been arrested before" look.
They were busy eating each other too.
Cannibalism is one of the most disgusting things a person can do.
Even so if someone is forced to eat the remains of someone who is already dead and there is no alternative to stay alive, I would not condemn them.
Now if someone killed another even in the same circumstances, that is another thing.
They'd chosen to settle in Virginia during one of the Great Droughts that regularly visit North America. This one was a bit more rigorous than any we've known in the East ~ more like the 1930s where much of the midsection of the country turned into the Dust Bowl.
The Chesapeake Bay region had become so desolate the Spanish pulled out in 1598 ~ with some of their officers ending up in Santa Fe ~ guess their 'desert experience' in the East suited them well for resettlement in a real desert.
Noteworthy, DeSoto landed in 1541 and spent a fair amount of time crisscrossing the Mid-South and the lower midwest ~ and his diary reveals the territory was fairly devoid of trees ~ so travel was easy.
I've been thinking about the Spanish experience on the East Cast for a number of years. They didn't do a whole lot with it, although they may have had an almost secret colony in New Jersey or the Eastern Shore ~ the Jamestown colony officers refer to another place somewhere within a few days sail that had upwards of 20,000 settlers as best they could tell.
There'd been a number of pirate settlements around the Bay before the Great Powers decided to put an end to Atlantic piracy. So what happened to those people, and did Philippe I/II reward his Catholic Dutch subjects with lands in America while continuing his war against his Reformed Dutch subjects in the Dutch Republic? So many mysteries in that period, but the drought was very real ~ sometimes they occur over 70 to 80 year periods where there's little rain. This one had at least one period that overlaps Jamestown settlement where it appears to have not rained at all in Virginia for 17 years!
The only fresh water was above the Fall Line (an ancient meteor crater wall in the East Coast). With no fresh drinking water nor any way to water crops the Jamestown colonists faced a dire future ~ cannibalism wasn't out of the question ~ and this isn't news!
How would you look if you were the dinner?
Just about the time the rains returned and Jamestown got off on a better foot, (1611), the Iroquois Indians decided they'd return to the business of collecting tribute from their tributary tribes ~ one of which was the Pohattans. They needed to rapidly expand their corn, squash and bean plantation to meet the Iroquois demands ~ and the Jamestown crowd was in the way. By 1621 the Indians attacked to convince the Europeans to back off and GET OUT THE WAY.
This all ended by the mid 1600s when hanta virus and a cold winter reduced Indian numbers by about 95% on the East Coast. Whites and blacks died at the same rate, but Europeans were readily replaced!
Thanks for the post, Altariel, and the ping, OlLine Rebel. Not a pleasant story to be sure, but we knew they suffered greatly. This is colonial history, in all its reality.
I won't be far from there this weekend, since we're going to Williamsburg; however, we'll stop by the Battlefield at Yorktown.
The RevWar/Colonial History/General Washington ping list
They were close to the coast. Couldn’t they have fished?
By the way, just how often do those droughts occur?
No one should be surprised when the first colonists on Mars are reduced to cannibalism.
Or.... the colonists were enduring dire circumstances during what was known as the “starving times.”
The time there was recorded meticulously and there are no accounts of anything like this.
Maybe the Injuns ate her and returned her remains.
Any of you guys ever see that fantastic movie called ‘Ravenous”? It’s one of the best movies I’ve ever seen, and unfortunately was not appreciated when it first came out.
Didn’t some of the settlers write about a man who murdered his pregnant wife and ate her? A colonial Gosnell.