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Anthropologist from Kennewick Man case turns to cannibalism

An anthropologist who told tribal leaders that Kennewick Man was not a Native person has found a new cause -- cannibalism at Jamestown, the first European settlement in Virginia.

Doug Owsley, a physical anthropologist at the National Museum of Natural History, helped examine the remains of a young girl who died at Jamestown. He said other settlers removed her flesh and bones, presumably for consumption.

Jamestown was founded in 1607. Local tribes provided the settles with food and supplies but a harsh winter in 1609 led to a large number of deaths.

According to Owsley, the girl died during that winter. There was no evidence she was purposely killed, he said.

Owsley helped study the 9,300-year-old remains of Kennewick Man, who was found on federal land in Washington. Tribes in the Pacific Northwest sought to rebury him but were rebuffed in the courts.

Get the Story:
Starving Settlers in Jamestown Colony Resorted to Cannibalism (Smithsonian Magazine 5/1)
Skeleton of teenage girl confirms cannibalism at Jamestown colony (The Washington Post 5/2)
Girl’s Bones Bear Signs of Cannibalism by Starving Virginia Colonists (The New York Times 5/2)

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