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“A Worlde of Miseries”: The Starving Time and Cannibalism at Jamestown

Author(s): James Horn

Year: 2014

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‘Now all of us att James Towne beginneinge to feele the sharpe pricke of hunger w[hi]ch noe man [can] trewly descrybe butt he w[hi]ch hathe Tasted the bitternesse thereof. A worlde of miseries ensewed . . .’ So wrote George Percy, temporary (and reluctant) president of the Jamestown colony during one of its darkest periods. In the light of the recent discovery of human remains (‘Jane’) that confirms the existence of survival cannibalism at Jamestown, this paper will reexamine Percy’s account, ‘A Trewe Relacyon,’ and related evidence to construct a chronology of the ‘starving time’ and reconsider the extent of anthropophagy during the terrible winter of 1609-1610.

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“A Worlde of Miseries”: The Starving Time and Cannibalism at Jamestown. James Horn. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437167)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-62,03

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America