New Discoveries at Jamestown eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 57 pages of information about New Discoveries at Jamestown.

[Illustration:  A few of many tools unearthed at Jamestown which were used for timberingFelling axes, A hewing Axe, adze, Hatchet, Wedge, and saw fragment.]

[Illustration:  Making “TRIALLS” Of ironEvidences of an earth oven or small furnace were discovered at Jamestown during archeological explorationsSmall amounts of iron may have been smelted in the furnace during the early years of the settlement. (Conjectural sketch by Sidney E. King.)]


In 1955, archeologists discovered the remnants of an early 17th-century forge.  At the site, blacksmith’s tools, bar iron, sword guards, unfinished iron objects, and slag were found.  This gave evidence that a blacksmith once plied his trade only a few yards west of the ancient brick church.  Many blacksmiths worked at Jamestown (there was one among the first group of settlers).  In the Jamestown collection are many tools which they left behind, including pliers, pincers, chisels, punches, hammers, and a small anvil.


Many small boats were built at Jamestown.  They were built by English shipwrights and carpenters, who came from a long line of efficient craftsmen.  These small vessels afforded the principal means of transportation through the uncharted wilderness tidewaters of Virginia.  They were used for fishing, trade, and discovery.  A few small handwrought iron tools used by Jamestown boatbuilders have been excavated on the historic island.


In 1955 a pottery kiln site was discovered at Jamestown.  Nearby were found many utilitarian earthenware vessels of the 1625-40 period—­definite evidence that pottery was made in Virginia over 300 years ago.  Although made for everyday use, many of the pieces unearthed are symmetrical and not entirely lacking in beauty.  The unknown Jamestown potters were artisans, trained in the mysteries of an ancient craft, who first transplanted their skills to the Virginia wilderness.

[Illustration:  Objects found at A 17th-century forge site at JamestownBlacksmith’s tools, bar iron, A few incomplete items, sword guards, and slagIt appears that the forge was in operation as early as 1625.]

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New Discoveries at Jamestown from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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