On Saturday, March 14th, the Pre-Columbian Society explored the settling
and archaeological study of Jamestown with Doctor John L.Cotter, Curator
Emeritus of American Historical Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania
Museum. Contrary to early conjecture of the island's ephemeral nature,
finds of Paleo-Indian artifacts confirm the island's existence and
occupation from a very early date until the British arrival in 1607. The only 17th century building still extant at Jamestown is the church tower. Historical archaeologists have studied foundations, post hole patterns and discarded artifacts to glean information about the early British settlers of the site. Among the remains excavated are the foundations of houses with typical kitchen outbuildings, row houses as well as ice pits, an iron smelter pit and brick firing pits. The first
fort had been thought to be under water, but has recently been discovered beneath the remains of a Confederate Fort. Changing styles of glassware, pottery and tobacco pipes have served to date the sites excavated.
Dr. Cotter's book on archaeological excavations at Jamestown, first published in 1954, was updated and re-issued in 1994. He's the author of one of the articles on Jamestown which appeared in a recent issue of Archaeology magazine.
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