Jamestown’s ‘Starving Time’ Led to Cannibalism


Desperate times call for desperate measures. When the Jamestown community was struggling to survive a harsh winter in 1609, they definitely took some desperate measures.

According BBC, there is scientific evidence that proves cannibalism happened in the first settlement in Jamestown, Virginia.

A four-century-old skull and tibia of a teenage girl showed unusual cuts “consistent with butchering fort meat on human bones.” In other words, her body was harvested for food.

Jamestown, Virginia

Jamestown, Virginia

“There were numerous chops and cuts – chops to the forehead, chops to the back of the skull and also a puncture to the left side of the head that was used to essentially pry off that side,” said Smithsonian researcher Douglas Owsley. “The purpose was to extract the brain.” Other marks also indicate that the tongue and facial tissue were removed.

This isn’t a case like Hannibal Lector. According to Smithsonian Researchers, the dead 14-year old “became food” for the community that was struggling the hard winter of 1609-1610, known to historians as “the Starving Time.”

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