Cannibalism was ripe in Jamestown Virgina...."Good ole U.S.A


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CSI Jamestown: Anthropologists lay out evidence of colonial cannibalism

Strike marks are seen on the skull of "Jane of Jamestown" during a news conference at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History in Washington on Wednesday.
Experts have provided the grisly goods to back up 17th-century accounts of cannibalism during the Jamestown colony's "starving time" — including a skull that shows signs of being chopped at and pried apart.

"Our team has discovered partial human remains before, but the location of the discovery, visible damage to the skull and marks on the bones immediately made us realize this finding was unusual," Bill Kelso, chief archaeologist of the Jamestown Rediscovery Project in Virginia, said in a news release issued Wednesday. Specimens from the Jamestown site were laid out during a Washington news conference.

Written accounts described acts of cannibalism during the winter of 1609-1610, when sickness, starvation and attacks from native tribes in the area put the two-year-old Virginia settlement to its sternest test. Scores of the colonists who crowded inside James Fort died that winter. One of the accounts described a husband who killed his pregnant wife and salted her flesh for storage and consumption. (The husband was executed for the crime.)

There was no reason to doubt the accounts, but in the course of their decades-long excavation, archaeologists were on the lookout for remains that might tell more of the story behind Jamestown's hardships. They found the evidence in the form of a partial human skull and other bones lying in a 17th-century trash deposit. Kelso enlisted the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of Natural History to sort out the clues. Colonial Williamsburg and Preservation Virginia helped provide historical context.

Based on an analysis of the bones — including the skull and its teeth, as well as the size of a tibia and bone growth in a knee joint — experts determined that the remains came from a 14-year-old female, nicknamed "Jane." The isotopic distribution of elements in the bones suggested that she consumed a European diet of wheat and meat.

The grisliest findings were reflected in the wounds to the head: The chief of the museum's division of physical anthropology, Douglas Owsley, identified chops to the forehead and the back of the cranium to open the head. Knife cuts on the jaw and the cheekbone could have been made during removal of the flesh. Other markings suggest that the head's left side was punctured and pried apart.

The scientists' conclusion: Jane was butchered for her meat.

Researchers have not matched up Jane's bones with a specific member of the Jamestown colony, and although DNA samples have been saved for future analysis, they say there's little hope of identifying modern relatives for comparative genetic testing. But the excavation continues, and Jane's remains provide graphic evidence of Jamestown's desperation.

Based on the bone analysis and the disposition of the remains at the site, researchers believe Jane arrived in Jamestown in August 1609, just months before the worst of the "starving time." She might have been a maidservant, or the daughter of a colonist.

"The 'starving time' was brought about by a trifecta of disasters: disease, a serious shortage of provisions, and a full-scale siege by the Powhatans that cut off Jamestown from outside relief," Jim Horn, Colonial Williamsburg’s vice president of research and historical interpretation and an expert on Jamestown history, said in Wednesday's news release. "Survival cannibalism was a last resort; a desperate means of prolonging life at a time when the settlement teetered on the brink of extinction."

Jamestown survived the starving time, and went on to become the Virginia Colony's capital from 1619 to 1699. In the late 17th century, the settlement was devastated by a series of fires. At the dawn of the 18th century, Virginia's capital was moved to Williamsburg, and old Jamestown faded away. The rest is ... well, history.


Not surprising. Especially when there was such a thing as "starving time." I would rather die that eat a human but I am probably in the minority on that.


North Korea Cannibalism Fears Amid Reports Famine-Stricken Citizens 'Forced To Dig Up Corpses & Eat Their Children'

The Cannibals of North Korea

North Korean reveals cannibalism is common after escaping starving state | World | News | Daily Express

"While his wife was away on business he killed his eldest daughter and, because his son saw what he had done, he killed his son as well. When the wife came home, he offered her food, saying: 'We have meat,'" a source told The Independent.

"But his wife, suspicious, notified the Ministry of Public Security, which led to the discovery of part of their children's bodies under the eaves."