A handful of Native American tribes weren't the only cannibals in the New World; some colonists themselves had to resort to desperate measures to stay alive.
As the first permanent English settlement in the New World, Jamestown opened the door of the New World to the British. Established in 1607, the colony endured even through the difficult period of 1609-1610, known as the "starving time," when three-quarters of the colonists perished.
The colony grew so desperate that they even resorted to eating the body of a 14-year-old girl, archaeological evidence suggests. Skull and bone fragments show patterns that "tentativeness, trial and complete lack of experience in butchering animal remains," Doug Owsley, a forensic anthropologist at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, D.C., noted of the discovery.
The girl, who archaeologists named "Jane," likely arrived at Jamestown in August 1609, months before winter set in. According to the researchers, she likely wasn't the only one cannibalized by the 60 or so colonists that made it to spring.
Colonial Settlements That Failed