Written in Bone
Forensic Case Files
This modern forensic case spotlights just how much a skeleton can reveal. The remains can tell us not only about the deceased person in life, but also about events prior to and surrounding death and burial.
In 2002, archaeologists uncovered an isolated grave just outside the log wall of a fort built on an island in the James River almost four centuries earlier. Find out who was buried there ...
In August 2005, excavators discovered a skeleton inside James Fort, along the western palisade wall. Clues indicate the burial took place during the first weeks or months of settlement at Jamestown. Was this the colony's first fatality?
In 1992, archaeologists opened a narrow, lead-covered coffin to find well-preserved remains of a woman strewn with rosemary sprigs. Her coffin lay between a larger lead coffin holding the remains of a man, and a small lead coffin, holding the remains of an infant.
In 1992, archaeologists recovered the remains of an infant buried beneath the floor of the 17th-century Brick Chapel in St. Mary's City, Maryland. Investigators had only the bones and burial clues to tell the child's story.
Archaeologists from Anne Arundel County’s Lost Towns Project discovered the site of Leavy Neck, a small 17th-century farm, in 1991. A decade later, they uncovered a surprising find in the cellar of a house — a human skeleton.
For an anime perspective of this discovery, also see the web comic The Secret in the Cellar.
With recovery of skeletal remains, the story of Africans in the Chesapeake is slowly unfolding, person by person. Remote-sensing technologies are helping scientists locate forgotten men and women, such as the young woman found at an old tobacco plantation on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
Examination of a recently found skeleton at the James Fort site reveals the death of a young woman who survived a hurricane at sea but died soon thereafter in the face of starvation. Can a 400-year-old story really be true?