In 1607, a little over 100 men arrived on the shores of Jamestown Island to create the first permanent English settlement in the New World. Today, Historic Jamestowne continues to preserve the history of this site by performing archaeological investigations and promoting educational programs. This interactive historical site illustrates the continual process of preserving the history and the importance of doing so in a fun and inviting manner.
Over more than 400 years, the true history and artifacts of the original Jamestowne settlement have been lost or hidden beneath layers of earth. Over twenty years, more than two million artifacts have been recovered from this site, many of which are on display in the museum exhibits. The remains of the original James Fort which operated from 1607-1624 are constantly being rediscovered, providing an illuminating insight into the lives of the first settlers. Visit the artifacts in exhibits featuring the Powhatan Indians of the Chesapeake Bay and a facial recreation of a young girl known as Jane who perished during the “starving time” in the winter of 1609-1610.
Out of the few hundred settlers that lived on Jamestown Island, only a fraction survived because of natural disasters, unforgiving weather, poor crop yields, and devastating interactions with the Powhatan Indians. Pocahontas, the daughter of Chief Powhatan, was known for marrying tobacco grower John Rolfe in an attempt to maintain peace with the Jamestowne settlement. This attempt was futile, however, as her uncle led an attack only years later causing the King of England to take control. Evidence of this interaction and others are present just below the surface of the town, waiting to be uncovered by archaeologists.
Take behind-the-scenes and specialty tours led by archaeologists or participate in the hands-on Ed Shed to sift through and find artifacts from the site.