Archaeologists and scientists from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC, have discovered the remains of some of the country's earliest settlers.
Four leaders of Jamestown, the first successful English colony located about 80 miles south of DC, have been unearthed using high-tech equipment and detective work.
Dr James Horn, president of the Jamestown Recovery Foundation, said: "This is the earliest English church in America - 1608 - and without any question the four men buried in the Chancel between 1608 and 1610 are four of the first leaders of the whole English enterprise in America. These men in various ways witnessed the first three years of the establishment of the colony. They endured food shortages, starvation, Indian attacks and disease."
Researchers used skeletal analyses, chemical testing, and 3D technology research to identify the men who lived and died when the settlement was on the brink of failure due to famine, disease and war. Scientists said the four helped guide the colony during its difficult years after its founding in 1607.