APVA diagram of two burials found inside the fort grounds during the archaeological excavation. These diagrams link to specific information about each burial that the students will need to know.
The following presentation will be used as a launching
point for an exercise in Forensic Archaeology dealing
with the Jamestown Colony. While viewing this
presentation, Students will be provided with pertinent
background information and data about the “Starving
Time” period of the colony. Then through further
research, the students will perform a forensic analysis on
the burials found within the colonial fort’s boundaries, to
make a determination as to the probable circumstances of
the deaths, and the identity of two Jamestown Colonists.
Found during the
The first permnament
English Colony in
Archaeological Excavation Site
rendering of the
foundation and the
Site 2 will be the
focal point of our
Graves inside the Fort Walls
Two graves, (opposite)
were found inside the fort
Labeled as JR 102 and JR
156, these burials need to
be forensically identified.
Burial 1: JR 106
A lead musket ball and smaller lead shot
remain on and within the leg bone.
This wound, and the resulting loss of
blood was the likely cause of death.
There appears to have been no attempt to
remove the lead, or to set the leg, and no
healing took place in the bone prior to
There is no evidence indicating any
additional wounds to the body.
This x-ray shows the lead
musket ball and many lead shot
on and within the wounded leg.
Dr. Douglas Owsley, Forensic
Anthropologist from the
concluded that the shot was to
the back of the leg, and that it
shattered bone and muscle so
badly that the leg twisted
around almost completely.
The skull was shattered and crushed flat from
centuries of ground pressure.
It was carefully reassembled in the laboratory.
Burial 2: JR 156
Female buried inside a wooden
coffin with a pitched lid,
indicating a woman of
prominent or wealthy status.
Death seems to have been
brought on by natural causes.
A resin cast of JR156 skull was made
from a CT scan of the original..
Forensic Research Assignment
What does the research and the data reveal about the
deaths of both JR106c and JR156c?
Based on your research and analysis of the evidence,
what are the names (most probable) of JR106 and
Post your response to both of these questions on the
class blog - posting is dueWednesday. Comment on at
least 3 other postings by Friday.
Images of Jamestown Archaeological site and maps:
Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities