- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: University of Virginia Press (September 29, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0813925630
- ISBN-13: 978-0813925639
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 6.8 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 47 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #425,281 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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From Publishers Weekly
In what is certainly one of the more substantial of the many commemorative tomes that will be published as Jamestown, Va., turns 400, Kelso, head archeologist at the Jamestown Rediscovery Project, describes the process of unearthing America's oldest permanent English settlement and the new light his findings shed on it. Like most archeologists, Kelso rejoices when he finds garbage heaps: Jamestown's trash pits hold evidence of glass making, and recovered armor confirms the existence of a military barracks. Butchered skeletons of dogs and rats testify that, during months of starvation, colonists ate whatever they could find. Kelso's team also excavated an elaborate row house, a grander building than historians thought the earliest colonists had built. The most intriguing chapter examines several grave sites: among the surprising skeletal discoveries are the remains of a young man who apparently died of a gunshot wound in his leg. The shot suggests some heretofore unknown "political intrigue" in Jamestown's earliest years. At times, Kelso could have gone further in sketching the day-to-day life his artifacts reveal. Nonetheless, this slim book will join the ranks of James Deetz's In Small Things Forgotten and Ivor Noel Hume's Martin's Hundred, archeological studies that find a broad readership among colonial American history buffs. 150 color and b&w illus. (Sept.)
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The unearthing of Jamestown is truly the autopsy of America, an amazing dissection and reconstruction of four-hundred-year-old artifacts and human remains that reveal how the first settlers spent their days, how they lived and died, and what they accomplished and suffered. Without chief archaeologist William Kelso's almost mystical vision that the original site still existed and his persistence against all odds to unearth it, we would have little to rely on but legend to tell us how modern America began. Jamestown: The Buried Truth is brilliantly written, a story and adventure unlike any other that will forever change the way we think about what happened when John Smith and his brave followers sailed to Virginia in 1607 and established the first permanent English settlement.(Patricia Cornwell)
The exciting story of a momentous archaeological project, told firsthand by the scholars who uncovered the real Jamestown―the original fort from John Smith’s day. Based on information derived from thousands of artifacts uncovered amid the graves and foundations of England‚s earliest permanent settlement in America, William M. Kelso’s Jamestown, the Buried Truth tells the world what his team found―and what it means. Their scholarship is impeccable, their maps and illustrations are magnificent, and their discoveries are amazing.(Jon Kukla, author of Mr. Jefferson’s Women and A Wilderness So Immense: The Louisiana Purchase and the Destiny of America)
Anticipating the four hundredth anniversary of the founding of Jamestown, Bill Kelso and APVA/Preservation Virginia began thirteen years ago the archaeological exploration of the site of England's first permanent settlement in North America. What Kelso and his team have found there since the first shovel was turned is nothing less than astounding. Evidence of everything that was built, abandoned, and then lost during Jamestown's first decades survived, literally inches beneath commemorative statues of John Smith and Pocahontas. It is clear that Kelso's discovery and excavation of James Fort is, by far, the most important archaeological event in the long and distinguished history of archaeology in Virginia and that its contributions to historical understanding of Jamestown are significant for early Virginia and for the history of the Atlantic world.(Carter L. Hudgins, Hofer Distinguished Professor of Early American Culture, University of Mary Washington)