- The Washington Times - Monday, February 17, 2003

JAMESTOWN, Va. (AP) An iron staff found with skeletal remains at the Jamestown fort indicates the man was a high-ranking official of the colony formed in 1607, archaeologists said.
Officials said the remains could be those of Capt. Bartholomew Gosnold, second in command at the founding of the first permanent English settlement in North America.
Jamestown officials displayed the skeleton and staff at a news conference last week. They said the skeleton is one of the best preserved from the early Colonial period in Virginia.
Other indications that the skeleton is Gosnold include the location of the grave in a wall of the fort and the time from which archaeologists believe it came.
The best piece of evidence that the skeleton is Gosnold, officials said, is the presence of the staff or officer's walking stick. They said generally no other burials from this time contained any artifacts.
Archaeologists said the skeleton is almost certainly that of an English man in his late 30s. Swelling in the bones of the nose indicate he had sinus infections, and the condition of the spinal cord showed he may have had arthritis.
The Richmond-based Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, which began excavating the fort area in 1994, is arranging DNA tests to compare the remains to Gosnold's descendants.
A native of Suffolk, England, Gosnold pushed the English to send out another group of explorers and settlers after the disappearance of the Roanoke colony around 1587 from what is now North Carolina's Outer Banks.
In 1602, he led an expedition to the Maine and Massachusetts coasts, where he discovered and named Cape Cod, for the fish found there, and Martha's Vineyard, for his infant daughter.
Four years later, he commanded the Godspeed, one of three ships that landed 107 settlers at Jamestown in May 1607.
He helped design the triangular fort where they lived.
Capt. John Smith, credited with leading and ultimately saving the colony, described Gosnold as "the prime mover behind the settlement."
Gosnold died in August 1607 after three weeks of illness.
About two-thirds of the settlers died that summer.

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