U.S. researchers have presented scientific evidence that the severe winter 1609-1610’s first English settlers arrived in America, practiced cannibalism. Earlier in many written sources mention of the given phenomenon, but the scientific evidence was obtained for the first time.
Analysis of the remains of 14-year-old girl, allowed experts from the National Museum of Natural History in Washington to find a number of signs that clearly prove the fact of cannibalism. The remains of the teenager were found in the excavations conducted on the site of Fort James in Virginia, founded by settlers from England in 1607. Around Fort James gradually formed a colony - Jamestown.
In analyzing the impact marks and nicks were found in the skull and tibia about 400 years old. This points to the attempt to discover the skull and reach the brain, scientists believe. In addition, the victim had no language, and facial tissue. In the XVII century, parts of the body like animals considered a delicacy. "There is every indication that the dismembered body first, and the meat was removed from the bones" - says Doug Owsley, one of the anthropologists.
On the tracks left on the bones, it is possible to judge the incompetence butchered body of a cannibal. Scientists do not exclude the possibility that it could be a woman. The reason for the girl’s death is unknown, however, according to anthropologists, dismembered her body after death. By comparative analysis of the bones of Cambridge scientists have established that the girl was one of the settlers.
Researchers believe that the victim over a period of her life are well fed, in particular, the girl ate meat. Scanning and computer graphics have provided a three-dimensional portrait of a teenager. It is clear that the girl was not the only victim of the British man-eaters.
During the so-called "Hungry Time" - in the history of the colonization of America is considered one of the most tragic. Settlers of Fort James, known to have been deposited by Indian tribes. Food stocks, which they were, it was not enough to survive through the winter. So the colonists ate horses first, then switched to dogs and cats, then ate rats, mice and snakes. And even the most desperate trying to have shoes made of leather.
Siege lasted nearly six months of the fort and hunger. Salvation was the arrival of Lord De La Verra in Fort James with provisions and a host of new colonists. Hunger winter of 1609-1610’s 300 inhabitants of Fort James suffered a total of 60 people.
"In this case they had to do to survive," - commented Dr. Owsley cannibalism residents of Fort James.