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Observations

Opinion, arguments & analyses from guest experts and from the editors of Scientific American

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Old oyster shells reveal dry, salty details of Jamestown settlers' hardships

What can a handful of old oyster shells reveal about the trials some of the New World's early European settlers? A lot, it turns out.

As a prevalent resource in the Chesapeake Bay, eastern oysters ( Crassostrea virginica ) ended up being a crucial food source for the first full-time European settlers in North America, who arrived in 1607, the second year of a seven-year drought that was the worst the region had seen in some 800 years...

May 31, 2010 — Katherine Harmon

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