This Sidney King painting shows an aerial view of Jamestown, with several ships in the James River. The painting hangs in the National Park Service Visitor Center at Jamestown Island. / National Park Service
Colonial America's oldest unsolved mystery involved remains that have been known only as "JR102C," or "JR" for short, but their owner's true name may have finally been uncovered.
The bones were found, buried in a coffin, under an old roadbed in Jamestown in 1996, WTKR reports. Researchers knew the skeletal remains belonged to a 19-year-old man who may have been from Europe, who had probably been living in Jamestown for a few years, and who likely had the status of a gentleman (because of the coffin). His right leg bones were twisted and broken below the knee, and a lead musket ball and lead shot were found there. Researchers determined that's what killed him. (The ammunition would have ruptured a major artery, NPR explains.)
Now, the Jamestown Rediscovery Project says, new research has uncovered a 1624 duel between George Harrison and Richard Stephens. The remains may belong to Harrison, who was shot in the leg and died from the wound.
"This wound shows that the person was killed by getting hit in the side of the knee. So in a duel, you stand sideways and this would come through like that," says a director for the project. However, one mystery still remains: "That's a combat round. It's almost like a shotgun but it also has a main bullet. So you wouldn't think unless somebody was cheating in the duel that they would have that kind of a load."
It's not the only recent nefarious discovery at Jamestown - scientists found evidence of cannibalism, as well.
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