Last night on the PBS News Hour a short segment had an anthropologist named William Kelso tell us that the Jamestown settlers were cannibals. His evidence consisted of cut marks on a female's excavated skull and leg bones, and that was proof enough for him.
So it's refreshing to see some healthy skepticism in the words of Myers Mermel at DailyCaller.com. See The Jamestown Hack Job in which he raises a bunch of unanswered questions:
Do we have any other bones of hers that show cutting marks consistent with attempts to remove flesh?
Do the animal bones next to her remains in the pit show marks of butchering?
Are there any other skeletons in addition to hers discovered with cut marks?
Could she have been a victim of domestic violence?
Could she have been attacked by Indians and her corpse dragged back to the pit to be disposed?
Why was she in a trash pit in the first place?
Was she the hidden victim of a colonial “Silence of the Lambs” killer?
But there's another bigger question. What's so wrong with cannibalism if it's the only means of survival?
To kill someone for food is a definite no-no. However, there have been numerous incidents of humans eating the bodies of the dead after all other food sources were exhausted. The survivors of the plane crash in the Andes lived for months on nothing but melted snow and human meat. There were the members of the Donner Party who, penned in by a blizzard and having eaten all their livestock, ate their dead companions. The survivors of the whaleship Essex ate their dead shipmates as they drifted in their lifeboats around the Pacific Ocean.
Paging Dr. Lector. Paging Dr. Lector. -- Robo-ed.
All I'm saying is that there's an instinct for survival in all living creatures. So in an era in which obesity is much more prevalent than starvation, let's not be too judgmental.
Jamestown's 'Jane' Reflects Grim Reality of Early Settlers;
The Jamestown Hack Job;
The Andes Accident;
The Donner Party Tragedy ; and
In the Heart of the Sea, The Tragedy of the Whaleship Essex.