The Display of Human Skeletal Remains at Jamestown

Author(s): Michael Lavin

Year: 2014


The Jamestown Rediscovery team has always sensitively excavated, researched and on occasion displayed human skeletal remains. Obviously this was especially required in the case of Jane, the cannibalized English girl. We felt that being a public museum, the often complicated scientific analysis of her remains had to be interpreted in the most understandable and yet respectful way possible. We also knew that while display of Jane’s disarticulated bones would appear more scientific , mending her cranial remains would make a more compelling humanistic statement. Ultimately we decided that the exhibition of her remains in our Archaearium Museum, would powerfully explain how close Jamestown came to being yet another failed European New World colony. In addition budget, visitor flow, graphics, panel text, supporting artifacts, labeling, plinths, fabrics and lighting were also be taken into account.

Cite this Record

The Display of Human Skeletal Remains at Jamestown. Michael Lavin. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada. 2014 ( tDAR id: 437174)

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): SYM-62,10