Analysis Of Written In Bone By Sally Walker

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Can one imagine living in colonial Maryland during the 1600 and 1700’s, dealing with slavery and inequality, and fighting off soldiers to save one’s life? For many in those times, this image was a reality. The book Written in Bone by Sally Walker takes the reader through the scientific, historic, and literary aspects of the daily life of the inhabitants of Jamestown and Chesapeake Bay. The novel uncovers the lives of the settlers in colonial Maryland by exploring ancient ruins and cemeteries and analyzing them in hopes to find an insight into the past. Through extensive research and investigation of graves, scientists are able to receive lots of data about the people living at the time. The author presented the information about the …show more content…

The historians involved in the excavation of the archaeological sites at colonial Maryland and Chesapeake Bay discovered the remains of many people around the Jamestown area, all with very unique backgrounds, social standings, and lives. Some of the corpses belonged to slaves and servants, who lived a life full of hard work, and who were treated with abuse and disrespect. Lots of these souls were buried messily, with no intention of preserving or caring for the corpse. This is shown in the book through the story of an indentured servant. The author states, “Like Jamestown’s earliest settlers, the English who came to Maryland hoped to find a wealthier life in North America, but they weren’t looking for gold or silver. They planned to make money by growing and selling tobacco.” (Walker, 54) Although it was a very popular source of income for settlers in Jamestown, tobacco is a very labor-intensive crop that requires many workers to plant, cultivate, and sell. A corpse was found in a trash pit in the house of a tobacco farmer. The body appeared to be shoved carelessly into a small hole with a shard of broken pottery. Through testing, the scientists and historians concluded that the skeleton most likely belonged to an indentured servant. “In short, indentured servants did any job the master demanded. And if they died before their term of service ended, their remains met with whatever fate their master chose. At times, masters “treated their dead servants like a waste product,” said Luckenbach.” (Walker,

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