Jamestown Colony Well Yields Clues to Chesapeake's Health

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A 17th-century well discovered last year in Jamestown, Virginia, could reveal rich details about the environmental health of the Chesapeake Bay 400 years ago, say archaeologists who are excavating the site.

The well may have been dug under the orders of Captain John Smith, whose disciplined leadership helped establish Jamestown as England's first permanent colony in the New World.

"We are going under the idea that it is quite possibly John Smith's well," said Jamie May, an archaeologist with the nonprofit APVA Preservation Virginia.

The well is on the banks of the James River, near where the river flows into the Chesapeake (printable map of the Chesapeake Bay).

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