The past as present

Martin Gallivan was a bit stunned when he saw the pair of facial reconstructions made by Sharon Long, a biological anthropologist at the University of Wyoming. William & Mary archaeologists worked with the tribe to select crania of a man and a woman for the “NCIS-style” reconstruction. The woman was strikingly lifelike, but the man “bears a striking resemblance to Chief [Stephen] Adkins,” Gallivan said.

He noted that Long had neither met any of the Chickahominy, nor received any photos of current members of the tribe.

The Chickahominy warmly received the images of their ancestors, but the work, funded by the Virginia Department of Historical Resources, also had value for the researchers.

 “When we’re given the opportunity to do something like forensic facial reconstruction, we’re reminded that it’s real people who led real lives that we’re writing about,” Gallivan said. “I think that’s of tremendous benefit to not only descendant communities and the public, but to scholars as well.”