Monday, November 14, 2011
Jamestown Is Supposed To Give The Protestant Church Ruins Of Ancient American
For over a decade, the island marsh in Virginia, where British settlers landed in 1607 has given countless surprises. Yet the voice of William M. Kelso is still filled with excitement as he plants his feet on top of a discovery long buried in the heart of regulation: what it considers to be the oldest remains of a Protestant church.
The discovery has excited scientists and preservationists, and discovered a long hidden dimension of religious life in the first permanent settlement.
It might prove interesting for another reason: the Church would have been a wedding present the first American celebrity, so to speak, where he was baptized and married the Indian princess Pocahontas John Rolfe settlers in 1614. Union temporarily halted in the tribal war with the Federation.
Last week, Mr. Kelso, head archaeologist of the place, jumped into the excavated pit lined with sandbags and pointed to where Pocahontas would stand at the railing. Orange flags marked the perimeter of the church. The pulpit was on the left and the source of new, with a door that opens to the river.
"I stand where Pocahontas was," Kelso said, gesturing to the earth at his feet. "I can almost guarantee you that."
It would have been unthinkable for the intrepid settlers, as ambassadors for the country, the crown and the church, not to construct a building for worship and the conversion of the Indians in their camp Virginia Company.
This is not old house of worship of the nation: Britain at the beginning of "Lost Colony" in North Carolina may have had a church and the remains of 16th century Catholic churches and missions identified, according to Mr. Kelso. But the discovery of the excavations in 2010 and continues to generate enthusiasm, in part, due to the size of the structure of 1608 - a 64 feet by 24 feet, which was an architectural marvel of its time - and also how some known about the religion in Jamestown.
Some scientists complain that popular knowledge of religion colonial period was flattened at one point of view of Virginians as greedy and lazy, while the later settlers in Plymouth, Massachusetts, were pious and devout.
The difference is rooted in their origin. Even if Virginia were largely faithful to the Church of England, rejected the pilgrims at Plymouth Church, and came to America to escape it.
"Basically, it comes from different places," said David D. Hall, a colonial religious scholar in the Harvard Divinity School.
Religion was still at the center in Jamestown, and a lot of theories about why there has been little attention. Stories tend to emphasize the commercial pursuits of the settlers, and the researchers also highlight the Civil War: Union victory, colonial history, the virtues of the North - like compassion - as the winner of the South. Another point of view is that the Plymouth was a prolific printer, and Jamestown.
"There are two very different types of Christian experience, both of which can be as rich and nuanced, but usually leave much richer and more layered self-certification," said Richard Pickering, deputy head of the Innovation Program, Plimoth Plantation, a village restored colonial Plymouth who use the historical spelling of the name.
It 'also a practical reason: until recently, the relics of the early Jamestown were under the earth. For centuries it was believed to be swept away by Fort James River. But Mr. Kelso, confident, began to dig along the banks of the river in 1994.
In 1996, he was sure he was there, the scope of Fort James. The site has produced about 1.4 million objects, many of which are kept in a locked, fireproof laboratory nearby.
However, the original church was evasive. Then, last fall, archaeologists found the remains of a new structure in the Civil War earthworks.
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