Seafood and Fishing Industry

Decoding the mystery of the Jamestown sturgeon

Decoding the mystery of the Jamestown sturgeon

Archaeologists probing the early James Fort kitchen where they unearthed evidence of cannibalism this past year have discovered an earlier layer of artifacts showing that — just months before the Starving Time of 1609-10 — the colonists were filling their bellies with sturgeon.

Far denser and more concentrated than the scattered remains uncovered by the dig in the past, the thick deposit of armorlike scales known as scutes, pectoral fin spines and other bones may include more than 1,000 objects, senior archaeologist Danny Schmidt said Wednesday.

And the size and number of the individual animals identified from the remains so far shows that Capt. John Smith's...