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DESPERATE TIMES Jamestown Settlers Ate a Child Library of Congress/AP

Jamestown Settlers Ate a Child

Scientists have confirmed the first archeological evidence that Jamestown settlers resorted to cannibalism with the gruesome discovery of a 14-year-old girl’s skeleton. The English girl’s remains date back to the deadly winter of 1609–10, known as the “starving time,” when settlers ate dogs, cats, horses, and even humans in the Virginia colony. Much remains unknown about the dismemberment and cannibalization of the 14-year-old, though a forensic anthropologist confirmed that a blow to the back of her head split her skull in half and the skull was penetrated to remove her brain. Scientists have long speculated that Jamestown colonists ate fellow settlers—and likely committed murder in the process.

May 1, 2013 11:49 AM