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Literary Openings, Gadgets and News in Nigeria | Duketundesblog: UNITED STATES: Original colonial leaders discovered buried under the Church where Pocahontas was married..

Sunday, 2 August 2015

UNITED STATES: Original colonial leaders discovered buried under the Church where Pocahontas was married..

Archaeologists have uncovered human remains of four of the earliest leaders of the English colony that became America under the floor of a Jamestown church.
The four leaders have been buried for more than 400 years near the altar of what was America's first Protestant church in Jamestown, Virginia.
Researchers were stunned to find one of the, identified as  Capt. Gabriel Archer, a vociferous critic and rival of Captain John Smith, was buried with Catholic artefacts, leading to claims he was part of a secret Catholic cell or a Spanish spy. 

The four include the man was thought to be the first Anglican minister in the Americas, an arch rival of Capt. John Smith, and Sir Ferdinando Wainman, who was believed to be the first knight buried in America. 
The site is the same church where Pocahontas famously married Englishman John Rolfe, leading to peace between the Powhatan Indians and colonists at the first permanent English settlement in America. 
The four burial sites were uncovered in the floor of what's left of Jamestown's historic Anglican church from 1608, a team of scientists and historians announced Tuesday.
Beyond the human remains, archaeologists also found artefacts buried with the colonial leaders — including a Catholic container for holy relics found in the Protestant church.
Mysteriously, a small silver box resting on top of Archer's coffin turns out likely to be a Catholic reliquary containing bone fragments and a container for holy water. 
Archer's parents were Catholic in Protestant England, which became illegal. 
So the discovery raises the question of whether Archer was perhaps part of a secret Catholic cell — or even a Catholic spy on behalf of the Spanish.
Researchers used archaeology, skeletal analyses, chemical testing, 3-D technology and genealogical research to identify the men who lived and died when the settlement was on the brink of failure due to famine, disease and war.
About 30 percent of each skeleton was recovered, and the scientific team was able to determine the men's rough ages at death, the Smithsonian said. 
The Jamestown Rediscovery archaeology team revealed its discovery at the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History. 
The museum is helping to study and identify those buried in the church. 
The burials were first uncovered in November 2013, but the scientific team wanted to trace and identify its findings with some certainty before announcing the discovery.
Archaeologists have been studying the site since 1994 when the original James Fort — long thought to be lost and submerged in the James River — was rediscovered.
The team identified the remains of the Rev. Robert Hunt, Jamestown's first Anglican minister who was known as a peacemaker between rival colonial leaders; Capt. Gabriel Archer, a nemesis of one-time colony leader John Smith; Sir Ferdinando Wainman, likely the first knight buried in America; and Capt. William West, who died in a fight with the Powhatan Indians. 

The three other men likely died after brief illnesses. They were buried between 1608 and 1610.
'What we have discovered here in the earliest English church in America are four of the first leaders of America,' said historian James Horn who is president of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation.

Source: +Daily Mail 

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