Archaeology Magazine

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Signs of Early Agriculture Uncovered at James Fort

Thursday, August 22, 2013

image003-1JAMESTOWN, VIRGINA—Traces of ten furrows have been discovered at the site of James Fort, built by English settlers in 1607. The furrows were found under a wall that was built in 1608 to extend the structure, so archaeologists think they were dug soon after the colonists’ arrival. Without the help of animals for farming, the labor-intensive rows were hoed by hand. “That system of farming with bending over and hoeing up the ground dominates the Virginia landscape for centuries,” said archaeologist David Givens of Jamestown Rediscovery. Soil samples will be tested to see what crops were grown in the furrows.