And yet, there are dark spots on the delightful history of our country. Not just the immoral actions of power hungry men, but there were journal reports of survival cannibalism during the ‘Starving Time’ of 1609-10. Until recently, all they have had to attest to this dark time of American history were the journal entries.
The discovery of a young girl’s remains have now offered proof that our fore bearers entered such a dark period during a Powhatan siege that the settlers immorally stooped to survival cannibalism in order to survive that winter.
Survival cannibalism is not killing a person in order to survive. It is the practice of the living to consume the bodies of those who succumb to death by disease or starvation.
But the consumption of human flesh at Jamestown was neither a ritual nor medicinal. It was for survival. For centuries, the written accounts were the only proof of cannibalism at James Fort. Nineteen years of modern excavations within the fort walls had not provided any irrefutable evidence necessary to prove that colonist’s accounts of cannibalism were fact. Until now.
You can read about Jane at the Jamestown Historical website to learn about this woman who lived on our shores for only a year. She didn’t survive the starving winter, and her bodily remains are the first tangible evidence of the gruesome survival tactics of the settlers of Jamestown Fort.
We visited Jamestown on a History Hunting trip to the Williamsburg area. It is a well preserved site and worth the drive to see it.