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Chancel burial remains: Reverend Robert Hunt (1569-1608), Sir Ferdinando Wainman (1576-1610), Captain Gabriel Archer (1575-1609-10), and Captain William West (1585-1610).


became a royal colony; all of it now richly displayed in nearly 1000 representative artifacts throughout the Archaearium. The newest exhibit, “Holy Ground”


contains a secret. In the seventeenth century Catholics were barred from Jamestown, but artifacts such as


crucifixes, rosaries, and pilgrim badges suggest a strong Catholic presence and underscore the identification of four men buried in the chancel of the 1608 church. All four were prominent members of the colony, and on top of Captain Gabriel Archer’s coffin archeologists found part of


Reproduction of brick lined well discovered just outside the original palisade walls that became a useful place to discard trash and serves as a time capsule of everyday life.


a captain’s leading staff and a small silver reliquary that contains bone fragments and a tiny lead ampulla. Reliquaries were containers that held holy remains and were highly venerated. Because opening it would cause irreparable damage, X-ray fluorescence was used to determine its contents. Before going on public display,


Jamestown Rediscovery’s Curator of Collections, Merry Outlaw, catalogs each and every piece, from the smallest bead and pottery shard to full suits of armor. Behind the scenes at Yeardley House, conservators, curators, and trained volunteers identify, clean, mend, restore, and store each artifact. The most fragile are carefully conserved inside a vault, while others are reproduced with the latest 3D printing technology. Merry tracks the location of each piece,


whether it be the Archaearium, Jamestown Visitors Center, or on loan to world class museums and historical societies. She also offers special ninety-minute tours twice a week to small groups six months out of the year. The Curator’s Tour offers access to the Archaearium, the archeological site, the conservation lab, and vault. The story of Jamestown as told by the


Archaearium does not enter into the debate of Jamestown versus New England’s claim to the establishment of the first successful colony. Dr. James Horn, President and Chief Officer of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, who has written and spoken on the subject over the years, feels strongly that had Jamestown failed,


74 May/June 2017


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