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Smithsonian and Preservation Virginia Reveal Startling Survival Story at Historic Jamestown

Douglas Owsley, the division head for physical anthropology at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, presented today a forensic analysis of 17th-century human remains proving that survival cannibalism took place in historic Jamestown. The findings answer a long-standing question among historians about the occurrence of cannibalism at Jamestown during the deadly winter of 1609–1610 known as the “starving time”—a period during which about 80 percent of the colonists died. The announcement was made with chief archeologist William Kelso from the Jamestown Rediscovery Project at Preservation Virginia, and historian James Horn, vice president of research and historical interpretation at Colonial Williamsburg; each expert provided context about the discovery and the history of the site. 

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NelmaK’s Meet Becca Booker

My name is Becca Booker, and I am originally from East Tennessee. I received my anthropology undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University. Currently I am at the University of West Florida working on my masters degree. I am working at UWF as a GTA and at the Gulf Adventure Center as a zip-line guide. My career goal is to become a maritime archaeologist.  

 Research: I am currently working on a sunken floating bunkhouse in the Escambia River. This vessel was a part of the cypress lumber industry along the river. We have used the handheld underwater magnetometer and and the side-scan-sonar on the site. We start excavation this summer.  

Archaeological News: Return to Antikythera: what divers discovered in the deep



Divers returning to the site of an ancient wreck off the Greek island of Antikythera have found artefacts scattered over a wide area of the steep, rocky sea floor. These include intact pottery, the ship’s anchor and some puzzling bronze objects. The team believes that hundreds more items could…

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