Since then hundreds of thousands of artifacts dating to the first years of English settlement (1607-1610) have been found. But the James Fort well has, until now, proven elusive.
Traditionally the English placed them in a centralized location, and contemporary descriptions of the fort mention a well in 1609. "The location of this well, assuming it's in a centralized location as is typical, makes me think the fort may have been larger than originally thought," said Kelso.
Students sponsored by the Anheuser-Busch Corporation helped make the discoveries possible, said Kelso. Twenty students from colleges and universities across the country, were selected to participate in the 2002 summer dig at Jamestown. In addition to the well, the students uncovered artifacts, an ammunition dump used by Confederate soldiers during the Civil War, and the remains of a building located inside the east wall of the original fort.
"It's the tip of the iceberg syndrome, though," said Kelso. "The sheer magnitude of the site is more than we ever thought possible."
"The contribution by Anheuser-Busch is enormously essential," said Kelso. "What the field school enables us to do is open larger areas. It's very labor intensive, and without the students we wouldn't have been able to open up nearly as much as we did.
"In a way, this is a birthday present to the nation," said Kelso. "In 2007 it will be the 400-year anniversary of the beginning of our country, and at times like now, understanding the genesis of the nation is even more important."
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