JAMESTOWN, Va. (WAVY) – Archaeologist stumbled on circled bricks in the dirt. It was a well just north of James Fort.
Now, the process of finding out what’s inside is happening.
“The center part of the well is where the colonists used to draw water off of it,” said David Givens, director of archaeology at Jamestown Rediscovery Center.
Colonists also used it as a trashcan.
“There wasn’t trash pick up on Friday,” Givens said. “Back then, you had to put your trash somewhere — a big empty hole like this becomes a great place to throw your trash.”
Looks like colonists had rather sharp trash.
“We started to find a sword blade, a dagger blade,” said curator Leah Strickler.
That’s not the only thing found.
“We started finding lots and lots of case bottles, glass case bottles,” she said. “These case bottles pre-date wine bottles. We are finding native-made ceramics — speaks to the interaction between the English and Native Virginians.”
Archaeologists even found leather, wood, seeds and leaves in the mud.
The discoveries help tell the historical story of this settlement.
“Understanding what was life like, what did people eat,” Givens said.
Said Strickler: “Very often, the artifacts tell the bigger story, especially when we are talking about interactions with culture.”
It’ll also fill in gaps in history.
“There were native Virginians here,” Strickler said. “There were also the first Africans at Jamestowne. Oftentimes times those two groups in particular are not recorded in history.”
Givens said they are crossing their finding, hoping to find items tracing back to tobacco harvesting.
“Small seed, in other words, this well is open and living when tobacco was a driving engine behind the colony,” he said.
Jamestown Society is making the work possible. It’s a group of colonists’ descendants that fund the project.
“This is really important to our members because their ancestors lived and died here,” said Bonnie Hofmeyer, Jamestowne Society executive director. “It’s really important we can make the connection and fund this project. Their ancestor could have held that sword or used that dagger.”
The team is showing us the whole process by streaming the whole thing. You can watch the work by clicking here.