Few people have heard of Yeardley, but he played an important role in America’s history. Jamestown governor led the Burgesses House, the first elective governing body in the British colonies.
Scientists are still not sure whether the headless skeleton belongs to Yeardley, but soon after leaving the skeleton, another finding emerged that could help answer that question. In the church, 10 dental teeth were discovered to match a previously revealed skull.
If the DNA from the teeth and skull matches the living relatives of Yeardley, the scientists will be able to identify Yeardley’s body.
In addition, researchers can reconstruct Yeardley’s face by analyzing the skull’s lines and tooth plaque, and determine what foods they eat.
Mary Anna Hartley, a senior archaeologist with the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, said, “We have a lot of world famous experts who work with us. And I want to make sure that they have something to examine. “
King III. The geneticist and archaeologist Turi King who worked on identifying Richard is also in this new team.
“We work under conditions known as clean conditions in the church. One of the biggest things we worry about is to pollute the excavation area with our DNA. When I get a sample of DNA from an individual, I want to make sure that it belongs to that individual, not me or any other archaeologist. “
Rediscovery of Jamestown
Church excavations are part of a project to learn more about Jamestown, the first successful permanent English settlement in the American colonies. According to the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation, it was founded in 1607 and originally called “James Cittie”.
Yeardley did not come to Jamestown until 1610 (he left London in June 1609, but he dragged a whirlwind ship to Bermuda). In 1616 he became the governor of Jamestown when he was 29 years old. Later, after being knighted by King James I, he returned to Jamestown with instructions from the Virginia Company, which controlled the colony. According to historical documents, Yeardley returned to “to form a form of government that is tantalizing for the people who live there.”
The plan worked. In June 1619, a group of 30 people came together in a church and archaeologists are now digging here.
That same year, America took the first group of enslaved Africans. The slaves from Angola, in western Africa, were on a Spanish ship bound for Mexico (Vera Cruz), until two British special ships were attacked and 60 Africans were taken to Point Comfort in Virginia. Yeardley bought eight people.
With the 400th anniversary of both of these events, archaeologists hope to learn more about Yeardley, starting from the skeletal identity.
Although the results of the DNA analysis are not yet clear, the skeleton offers several clues: it belongs to a solid man in the late 30s or early 40s, and this matches Yeardley who died in 1627.
Moreover, the skeleton is placed on its sides (not crosswise on the pelvis). This shows that this person is important and is probably placed in such a way that people can see before the body is buried.
In addition to all these, in the early 1900s, there was a tomb carved with knight symbols in the church. Considering that Yeardley is also a knight, it is likely that this limestone plate belongs to him. In addition, the tomb was a beautiful place to be buried in front of the church of the church.
The earth layer and artifacts in the building fit the right time frame.
The research team is also planning to conduct radiocarbon analysis on the bones and isotope tests on the residues. So they can understand beforehand whether the individual drinks water from England.