|Title||:||Jane: Starvation, Cannibalism, and Endurance at Jamestown|
|Number of Pages||:||43 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Jane: Starvation, Cannibalism, and Endurance at Jamestown Reviews
A fantastic book with quite a bit of information in regards to historic Jamestown, Virginia and what led to and the time during the "starving time." We visited, for the third time, the archeological dig site and the museum this summer. I loved being able to connect this book and Jane's tragic story with an actual exhibit in the museum and see the exact spot where she was found by archeologists.
This picture book depicts historical evidence acquired from archaeological excavations recently conducted at Jamestown. These new excavations were found in the grounds, which were once the cellar of James Fort where the first permanent English colony was established. Together with bits of everyday artifacts were found cranial bone fragments, as well as a leg bone, of a 14-year old English girl who came to Jamestown in June of 1609. The authors decided to call her Jane because women in those times were not well documented, unlike the men, and her real name will forever remain a mystery. What is so interesting about this book is that through careful observations of bone fragments and isotopic testing, the archaeologists were able to determine that Jane was of middle to upper class standing, and that her bones showed evidence of having been cannibalized. After Jane arrived at Jamestown in June of 1609, Captain John Smith, the authoritative leader of Jamestown was mysteriously injured in a gunpowder explosion, and he returned back to England in October of that year. Relationships with the Powhatan Native Americans were becoming increasingly worse, and without the strong leadership of Captain James Smith, fighting broke out between the two groups. In the harsh winter of 1609, the 300 or so colonists were unable to venture out of their Jamestown fort for fear of being attacked. Food became scare, and archaeological excavations show much evidence of the colonists eating snakes, dogs, cats, horses, rats, and whatever became available in order to survive. Careful examination of Jane’s bones showed evidence that her cranium had been broken in half, and bones in her facial and neck areas had substantial cuts, as one might make with a knife to remove the flesh. This archaeological excavation further depicts just how harsh the conditions were for those early colonists, and the hardships they endured to survive. After the winter of 1609, only 60 of the original 300 colonists remained alive. This was a fascinating book that honored a previously nameless face of the historic Jamestown experience.
My husband and I are exploring what's around our new home in Williamsburg. Actually, we are closer to Jamestown - just a short bike ride away - than we are to Williamsburg, and we have been there a few times. It's amazing that they are still making discoveries on how people lived here over 400 years ago. On the archaeological tour we had a terrific guide who told us of a recent discovery that the starving settlers were forced to practice cannibalism. Among the crockery sherds and animal bones were a human skull and leg bone. Further research indicated that these bones belonged to a young woman. It hasn't been determined how she died, but they did determine that her body provided nourishment for the desperate settlers. The small book, loaded with color photographs, shows where the bones were found and how they were tested to find out so much about this young woman they named Jane. They could tell her age, her sex, and what part of the world she came from. I thought it was interesting that they said the bones were found by "an intern." Does this intern have a name? I think it's sad that he or she doesn't get the credit that is due for this amazing discovery. Further research enabled medical modeling experts to come up with a 3-D model of Jane's face and head. It's a good companion book to the Jamestown archaeological site and museum.
In 2012, an excavation project at the Historic Jamestowne archaeological site conducted in a 1608 James Fort cellar yielded a remarkable and disturbing find from the settlement's Starving Time of 1609-1610: the first scientifically-proven example of survival cannibalism in Colonial America. This excellent little book follows step by step the procedures by which archaeologists and forensic anthropologists, after months of delicate work, uncovered and decoded the clues in the (teenage female) human remains. It ends with the story of how science and artistry both have been used to bring the story -- and the face -- of the approximately 14-year-old young woman (dubbed "Jane") to modern attention. This book is an able distillation of the Jane: Starvation, Cannibalism, and Endurance at Jamestown documentary film and the "Jane’s Story" exhibit at the Nathalie P. and Alan M. Voorhees Archaearium at the Historic Jamestowne site.