JAMESTOWN, Va. (June 30, 2017)
Twenty-three years ago, Dr. William Kelso and his team of highly-skilled archaeologists began excavating America's birthplace, Jamestown, which was thought for many years to have been washed out into the James River. Since then, they have recovered over 2 million artifacts from the colonial era that illuminate the day-to-day lives of those first English men and women who migrated here with the expectation to create new lives for themselves and the generations that followed. These artifacts range in nature from arms and armor to entertainment to religious relics to food ways and more. This year, the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation (JRF) has received three generous donations to help fund three, bright summer fellows to perform much-needed research surrounding these artifacts that will give our archaeologists, and subsequently the public, a better understanding of what these relics and objects mean and the role they played in shaping the colonists' lives.
Michelle Carpenter- CarolAnn and James Babcock Archaeological Intern
Michelle Carpenter is a graduate student at Idaho State University who has previously worked with JRF in the past through the Smithsonian's Museum Conservation Institute Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Archaeological and Museum Conservation Science. During this program, she conducted original research at Jamestown for her master's thesis on the analysis of stable isotope research of faunal remains. This summer, Dr. Bill Kelso and senior archaeologist, David Givens, plan to work with Michelle in both the lab and the field. Givens explains that her research with fauna can be crucial to determining a "date stamp" for many artifacts. He explains, "…Some hog bones found in the Smith well could possibly be traced back to Bermuda by researching their isotopes. Knowing where the hogs came from would help date all sorts of other artifacts that were found in the well because we know when ships arrived from Bermuda."
Madeleine Bassett- Marianne and James Skeen Fellow
A Ph.D. candidate at the College of William & Mary, Madeleine (Maddy) specializes in Virginia Indian material culture and will join JRF for a two-month research fellowship. Of Jamestown's 2 million artifacts, 130,000 objects were made by Virginia's Native people and spans 12,000 years of occupation within the archaeological site. As the Native material in the collection has yet to undergo such extensive research, her research will reveal unrecorded interactions and cohabitation between the English and Virginia Indians. Her fellowship will include three parts: providing Jamestown curators and staff with a standard for cataloging Native ceramics, bone, and stone tools, contribution to the Jamestown Rediscovery technical report-a summary of features, artifacts, and findings for our professional colleagues, and disseminating and integrating the conclusions from this research into ongoing public outreach through the Historic Jamestowne website, lectures, tours, and children's programs.
Alexis Ohman-Colonial Dames of America Fellow
Alexis Ohman is also a Ph.D. candidate at the College of William & Mary studying Historical Archaeology. Her research will provide a fascinating link between the science of zooarchaeology and archaeology and give JRF a better insight to the colonists' everyday diet at Jamestown and how it evolved over time. Zooarchaeology is the study of animal bones from the archaeological record and through the identification of species, cuts and butchery techniques, cooking methods, and changes in diet Jamestown archaeologists and curators will be able to reconstruct the day-to-day environment inside and outside the 1607 James Fort. More specifically, Alexis' research will provide a better understanding of Jamestown's environment at the time of arrival, previously unknown food sources for the colonists, and shifts in diet from the James Fort period (1607-1624) to the early James City period (1619-1630). Her preliminary research has already demonstrated a major dietary shift from predominately wild food sources (deer, turkey, etc.), to predominately domesticated animals (cow and pig) around 1620.
Jamestown Rediscovery's mission is to support the preservation, education, and the archaeological investigation of Historic Jamestowne, and that includes taking what is found and putting the pieces together to paint a clearer picture of what this country looked like 410 years ago. Each of these brilliant and capable candidates will contribute to our cause of rediscovery, education, and interpretation through their research. If you are interested in funding future fellowship opportunities, please contact Denise Kellogg, Director of Development, at 757-229-4997 ext. 103 or through e-mail at email@example.com.
Twenty three years ago, Dr. William Kelso rediscovered the site of the original 1607 James Fort, which was believed to have been washed away into the James River. Since then, Dr. Kelso and his team of highly-skilled archaeologists have recovered over two million artifacts that highlight the day-to-day lives of those first men and women who would create the first permanent English settlement in America. In partnership with the National Park Service and Preservation Virginia, Jamestown hosts over 220,000 visitors a year to witness the ongoing archaeology, research and conservation, and educational programming that shed light on America's birthplace. To learn more information about hours, ticketing, and events, please visit our website, http://www.historicjamestowne.org, or call 757-856-1250.
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