Jane: Proving cannibalism at Jamestown
By Monet Medeiros
It was 1609, a 14 year old girl left Plymouth, England. She was the third and final supply fleet to sail to Jamestown. Among them were 500 other people hoping to make a living in the English Settlement in Virginia. But only 150 would make it, a unseen hurricane wrecked the ships as they were approaching land. A huge setback for the settlers already hungry and dying off from the local Natives. With the lost rations and an even larger population, a infamous event in the founding in Jamestown began, the Starving Time.
There remained not past 60 men, women, and children, most miserable and poor creatures; and there were for the most part preserved roots, herbs, acorns, walnuts, berries, and now and then a little fish... yea even the skins of our horses - John Smith
The starving time was through the winter of 1609. Men, women and children were recorded to have resorted to eating horses, cats, dogs, snakes, and even their shoes made from leather. But it still wasn't enough, and they began to die. Corpses were everywhere in Jamestown, reminding settlers of their soon doom. However a few went crazy enough, to take advantage of the dead bodies by eating them. On July 27, 2012, archaeologists working in a Jamestown trash deposit found something very unusual. About 2.5 ft under, among animal bones, these archeologists found bones that were known to be of a fourteen year old girl who scientists later named Jane. Forensic scientists analyzed these bones and concluded that she was eaten by an unknown settler/s. These scientists discovered scratches in her skull, which they believed to be tools trying to scratch through her skull. With her discovery, historians were finally able to conclude that with this evidence, cannibalism really did happen at Jamestown. Today, we can only imagine the horrorfic starving time.