American scientists have resorted to using high-tech investigative work to identify the remains of four Jamestown Colony English leaders.
Jamestown was the New World’s primary booming English colony. The identification has taken place more than 4 centuries after the demise of the victims according to the Smithsonian Institution.
The study has given new insight into the way of life and the significance of religion in the Jamestown, Virginia. Jamestown is about 130 km south of Washington.
The Jamestown Colony English leaders were identified as the Reverend Robert Hunt, Captain Gabriel Archer, Sir Ferdinando Wainman and Captain William West. All the four men played instrumental parts in helping guide the colony during its difficult formative years. The colony was founded in 1607.
James Horn, the president of Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation termed the discovery as extraordinary. The foundation teamed with the team of research scientists from the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History to identify the bodies.
The four men, who were Jamestown Colony English leaders and whose burials were investigated in November 2013, were found buried within 1608 church of Jamestown. The church deteriorated into poor conditions in 1617.
Researchers in this study used archaeology, skeletal analyses, chemical testing, 3-D technology and genealogical research to identify the men. The men had lived and died at a time when the colony was on the verge of collapse as a result of famine, epidemics and war.
Nearly one third of each skeleton of the Jamestown Colony English leaders was recovered. Then the research team was able to their ages at death.
Chemical analyses were then conducted to examine diet, determine the levels of heavy metals and determine the men’s origins. The scientists were helped in the identity of the remains by the nature of coffins and artifacts that the four Jamestown Colony English leaders had been buried in.
Bio of the Four Jamestown Colony English Leaders
Reverend Robert Hunt died at about 39 years of age in 1608. He was believed to be the first Anglican minister at Jamestown.
Captain Gabriel Archer died around late 1609 or early 1610 aged around 34 years. This was during the “starving time,” which was a period when about 250 settlers died from disease, starvation and Indian attacks.
Archer had led some of the earliest known expeditions into Jamestown colony. The researchers found a tiny silver box atop his coffin. This was most likely a Catholic reliquary.
Sir Ferdinando Wainman also died aged at about 34 years. He was the cousin of the Virginia governor, Sir Thomas West. Wainman was known to be the first English knight to be buried in America.
Captain William West died aged around 24 in 1610. This was during a time of conflict with Powhatan Native Americans. The scientists did find scraps of a military leader’s sash in close proximity to his body.