May 1st, 2013
07:51 PM ET

Researchers: Cannibalism at Jamestown

The winter of 1609 to 1610 was treacherous for early American settlers. Some 240 of the 300 colonists at Jamestown, in Virginia, died during this period, called the "Starving Time," when they were under siege and had no way to get food.

Desperate times led to desperate measures. New evidence suggests that includes eating the flesh of fellow colonists who had already died.

Archaeologists revealed Wednesday their analysis of 17th century skeletal remains suggesting that settlers practiced cannibalism to survive.

Post by:
Filed under: History • Virginia
soundoff (12 Responses)
  1. banasy©

    Shades of the Donner Party. I'm not surprised.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Report abuse |
  2. BOMBO

    "Oh come on kids. Go ahead and eat Uncle Jedediah. In 400 years, who's going to know?"

    May 1, 2013 at 8:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • banasy©

      Uncle Jedidiah?

      May 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      If you're speaking of the Jedidiah of the bible, that would be sick!
      Jedidiah meaning ... hand or beloved of the Lord

      May 2, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Richard Parker

    Big deal. This kind of thing happens on lifeboats all the time, but you never hear us complain about it.

    May 1, 2013 at 8:49 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Sofa King

    If you are one of 60 eating the remains of 240, why are you chopping away at heads and faces to get meat? I would guess that the easily cut meat from the arms and legs of one fat dude would be enough to feed an average person for a whole winter. Mythbusters should investigate.

    May 1, 2013 at 9:10 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TvNyC

    Even in our modern world, cannobolism still happens.

    May 1, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Rascal Rabble

    the daughters of america need to claim their cannibalistic some skelton bones on their

    May 1, 2013 at 11:27 pm | Report abuse |
  7. stuart

    Ok now
    Dont try this at home.

    May 2, 2013 at 12:16 am | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini ©™

    Good for the brave settlers! That was exactly the right thing to do.
    It is conceivable that, under those circumstances, some of the dead might have been killed. Lots may have been drawn. Is it better to have 240 dead, or 300 dead?

    May 2, 2013 at 3:15 am | Report abuse |
  9. Mary

    I would eat flowers, mushrooms, or grass... anything but flesh! Never ... Never ... flesh ...

    May 2, 2013 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Charles

    Virginia is for (meat) Lovers

    May 3, 2013 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |