"Nevertheless, the clear intent was to dismember the body, removing the brain and flesh from the face for consumption," he added.
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At last the attempt succeed. A series of deep, forceful chops from a small hatchet or cleaver to the back of the head split the skull open. Flesh was removed from the face and throat using a knife, as sharp cuts and punctures marking the sides and bottom of the mandible, reveal.
The highly fragmented skeleton did not allow the researchers to establish the cause of death of the girl, although a combination of digital and medical technologies made it possible to reconstruct her likeness.
The research team has named her "Jane."
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Based on the anthropological evidence of her diet and the archaeological layer where her remains were found, Owsley and colleagues believe "Jane" arrived in Jamestown in August 1609, just months before the deadly "starving time" had begun.
According to Jim Horn, Colonial Williamsburg's vice president of research and historical interpretation and an expert on Jamestown history, the "starving time" was brought about by a series of disasters that struck the community two years after it was established in 1607. These included disease, a serious shortage of provisions, and the siege of the native tribes Powhatan.