SciTech Now Episode 208

In this episode of SciTech Now, archaeology moves underwater as researchers discover clues from the past; planetary physicist Phil Metzger on the New Horizons flyby over Pluto; one southern California couple is going to extreme measures to revolutionize the physical therapy industry; and PBS Secrets of the Dead has the extraordinary story of a young pioneer, whose remains were found in an archaeological excavation.

TRANSCRIPT

♪♪

COMING UP... A LOST WORLD RESURRECTED FROM THE END OF THE ICE AGE.

IT WASN'T REALLY UNTIL WE GOT IT BACK TO THE LAB THAT ITS TRUE IMPORTANCE BEGAN TO SINK INTO US.

IT WAS SUDDENLY LIKE, 'OH, GEE.

THIS ISN'T JUST ANOTHER PIECE OF TREE, THIS IS ACTUALLY A HUMAN-MODIFIED ARTIFACT.'

TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED FOR GAMING COULD REVOLUTIONIZE PHYSICAL THERAPY.

I AM TARGETING THE KNEE, AND I WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH THE KNEE IS MOVING.

THE THING THAT I USE IS BASICALLY MY VISUAL ASSESSMENT.

WITH THE KINECT, WE'LL BE ABLE TO REPLAY HOW THEY WALK AND SLOW IT DOWN.

AND THE SECRETS OF AN AMERICAN COLONY UNCOVERED.

SO WE ALSO HAVE TO REMEMBER THIS IS A LITTLE GIRL.

SO WE HAVE TO CONSIDER THAT AS WE LOOK AT THESE TOOL MARKS.

YOU KNOW, THEY'RE TENTATIVE.

THEY'RE NOT CONFIDENT.

THIS IS A PERSON.

THIS IS SOMEBODY THEY KNOW.

IT'S ALL AHEAD.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING...

HELLO, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

WELCOME TO OUR WEEKLY PROGRAM BRINGING YOU THE LATEST BREAKTHROUGHS IN SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION.

LET'S GET STARTED.

ARCHEOLOGY BRINGS TO MIND INTREPID EXPLORERS HACKING THROUGH JUNGLES AND TREKKING MILES ACROSS DESERTS.

BUT NOT ALL ARCHEOLOGISTS WORK IN EXOTIC LOCATIONS OR EXTRACT THEIR FINDINGS FROM THE GROUND WITH PICKS AND SHOVELS.

A TEAM OF RESEARCHERS IN MICHIGAN HAVE DISCOVERED A SITE OLDER THAN THE PYRAMIDS, BUT IT'S NOT BURIED BENEATH THE EARTH.

IT'S SUBMERGED IN 100 FEET OF WATER.

AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN IN THE BOTTOM OF A REPURPOSED HORSE TROUGH LIES THE KEY TO THE TECHNOLOGY OF AN ANCIENT CULTURE.

THE ARTIFACTS' DISCOVERERS ARE DR. JOHN O'SHEA AND HIS STUDENT ASHLEY LEMKE.

BOTH ARE PIONEERS IN THE EMERGING FIELD OF UNDERWATER ARCHEOLOGY.

UNDERWATER ARCHEOLOGY REALLY BEGAN IN THE 1970s, REALLY WHEN SCUBA DIVING BECAME A BIGGER THING AND ARCHEOLOGISTS IMMEDIATELY STARTED SCUBA DIVING, AND IT'S BEEN PRIMARILY SHIPWRECK WORK AND THIS MORE HISTORIC KIND OF ARCHEOLOGY UNTIL REALLY THE LAST 10 OR 15 YEARS OR SO.

O'SHEA AND LEMKE AREN'T LOOKING FOR A LOST CIVILIZATION IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA.

THEY'RE LOOKING FOR SOMETHING IN THEIR OWN BACKYARD.

TODAY LAKE HURON LOOKS LIKE THIS.

9,000 YEARS AGO, IT WAS VERY DIFFERENT.

THE WATER LEVEL WAS LOWER, AND PARTS OF THE LAKE THAT ARE NOW SUBMERGED WERE DRY LAND.

THE STRETCH OF LAND BRIDGING MICHIGAN AND CANADA IS KNOWN AS THE ALPENA-AMBERLEY RIDGE, AND AT THE END OF THE ICE AGE, IT WAS INHABITED BY THE EARLIEST NATIVE AMERICANS CALLED PALEO-INDIANS.

O'SHEA AND HIS TEAM ARE LOOKING FOR ARTIFACTS FROM THIS ANCIENT CULTURE.

DURING THIS TIME PERIOD, MOST OF THE SITES THAT WERE CREATED BY EARLY HUNTERS, EARLY OCCUPANTS OF MICHIGAN, ARE UNDERWATER, BASICALLY.

THE ALPENA-AMBERLEY RIDGE PROVIDES A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY THEN TO DISCOVER SITES THAT BASICALLY DON'T EXIST ON LAND OR WOULD HAVE BEEN DISTURBED ON LAND.

O'SHEA AND LEMKE STARTED BY SURVEYING THE BOTTOM OF LAKE HURON WITH SONAR.

THE SEARCH TURNED UP CURIOUS SETS OF STRAIGHT LINES OF STONES WITH WHAT APPEARED TO BE LARGER ROCKS SCATTERED AMONG THEM.

THE STONES ON THE LAKE FLOOR MIGHT LOOK LIKE NATURAL PILES OF ROCK, BUT TO THE TRAINED OBSERVER, THEY TELL AN INCREDIBLE STORY.

WE KNEW THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN THIS KIND OF DRY-LAND CORRIDOR AT THE VERY END OF THE ICE AGE, AND WE SPECULATED THAT IF THERE WERE CARIBOU MIGRATING ACROSS THIS, HUMANS WOULD HAVE USED THE SAME KIND OF HUNTING TECHNIQUES THAT MODERN HUMANS DO TO CORRAL THEM, TO KIND OF CHANNEL THEM INTO KILL SITES.

OUR EXPECTATION WAS THAT THESE HUNTING STRUCTURES WOULD BE CONSTRUCTED OF STONES SINCE THAT'S WHAT'S OUT THERE, AND THEN IF WE FOUND THEM, WE COULD THEN PUT DIVERS ON THEM AND ACTUALLY INVESTIGATE THEM AS ARCHEOLOGICAL SITES.

CARIBOU ARE WIRED TO FOLLOW LINEAR FEATURES IN THE LANDSCAPE, LIKE LINES OF TREES OR THE TRACKS OF ANOTHER CARIBOU IN THE SNOW.

ANCIENT HUNTERS KNEW THIS, AND BY PILING UP STONES IN STRAIGHT LINES, THEY WERE ABLE TO CREATE DRIVE LANES TO STEER CARIBOU TO LARGER STONES USED AS HUNTING BLINDS.

DIVING IN THE DEEP, COLD WATER OF LAKE HURON IS DIFFICULT AND DANGEROUS, SO O'SHEA AND LEMKE HAD TO RECRUIT A NEW MEMBER TO THE TEAM.

MEET JAKE, A REMOTE-OPERATED VEHICLE, OR R.O.V.

WITH MOTORS FOR LEGS AND CAMERAS FOR EYES, JAKE CAN SWIM WHERE DIVERS CANNOT AND STAY SUBMERGED LONGER WITHOUT RUNNING OUT OF AIR OR GETTING TOO COLD.

I'M JAKE'S OPERATOR, AND I THINK HE'S REALLY IMPORTANT AND CRITICAL TO THE WORK THAT WE DO.

IT'S DEFINITELY LIKE A VIDEO GAME.

THE PART ABOUT IT, THERE'S DEFINITELY THE JOYSTICK ASPECT WHERE THE PHYSICAL CONTROL'S A LOT LIKE A VIDEO GAME, BUT THE PART OF IT THAT YOU REALLY HAVE TO GET A SENSE OF THAT PEOPLE ONLY EVER HAVE THIS FROM PLAYING VIDEO GAMES IS THAT MENTAL IDEA OF THE 3-D SPACE IN YOUR BRAIN.

SO REMEMBERING KIND OF WHERE YOU'VE DRIVEN AND WHERE YOU'VE BEEN AND KIND OF BUILDING YOUR OWN MODEL OF WHAT THE LANDSCAPE LOOKED LIKE IS SOMETHING THAT -- I THINK THAT'S THE VIDEO-GAME ASPECT OF IT OR THE COMPUTER-SIMULATION ASPECT OF IT.

ENTER DR. ROBERT REYNOLDS AND HIS TEAM OF GRADUATE STUDENTS.

THEY'RE EXPERTS IN ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, SPECIFICALLY IN THE PROGRAMMING THAT BRINGS THE VIRTUAL WORLD OF VIDEO GAMES TO LIFE.

DR. REYNOLDS AND HIS STUDENTS ARE COMBINING DATA GATHERED BY JAKE AND A VIDEO-GAME ENGINE TO CREATE A HUNTER'S EYE VIEW OF THE ALPENA-AMBERLEY RIDGE AS IT WAS 9,000 YEARS AGO.

IN ORDER TO DO THAT, WE DEVELOPED A VIRTUAL WORLD, A 3-D VIRTUAL WORLD BY USING A STANDARD GAME FRAMEWORK.

THEY'VE ALSO CREATED DIGITAL CARIBOU AND PROGRAMMED THEM WITH AN ARTIFICIAL VERSION OF THE KNOWLEDGE THAT CARIBOU WOULD HAVE IN LIFE.

AND WE ALLOWED THOSE CARIBOU TO MOVE ALONG THE LAND BRIDGE IN WAYS THAT WOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH HOW MODERN CARIBOU WOULD MOVE IN TERMS OF THEIR GOALS.

WE THEN TRACE THOSE PATHS AND USE THAT INFORMATION TO PREDICT WHERE ANCIENT HUNTING SITES WOULD BE LOCATED.

USING THIS TECHNOLOGY IMPROVES THE EFFICIENCY OF THE ARCHEOLOGICAL PROCESS SUBSTANTIALLY.

WHEN WE FIRST WERE INVOLVED IN THE PROJECT, BASICALLY, INTUITION PLAYED A MAJOR ROLE IN WHERE TO LOCATE SITES, AND NOW WITH OUR TECHNOLOGY, WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO MAKE IT MORE QUANTITATIVE AND MAKE IT MORE PRECISE.

AMID ALL THIS ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY, THE MOST EXCITING FIND MIGHT BE A SIMPLE PIECE OF WOOD.

IT WASN'T REALLY UNTIL WE GOT IT BACK TO THE LAB THAT ITS TRUE IMPORTANCE BEGAN TO SINK INTO US.

AS WE BEGAN PHOTOGRAPHING IT AND DRAWING IT, AND IT BECAME CLEAR THAT IT HAD BEEN MODIFIED, IT WAS SUDDENLY LIKE, 'OH, GEE.

THIS ISN'T JUST ANOTHER PIECE OF TREE, THIS IS ACTUALLY A HUMAN-MODIFIED ARTIFACT.'

AND THEN WHEN WE BEGAN TO THINK ABOUT WHAT KIND OF ARTIFACT THAT WOULD BE AND HOW THAT MIGHT FIT ON THE BOAT, IT BECAME REALLY EXCITING.

ONE OF THE PREFERRED WAYS OF HUNTING CARIBOU IS FROM A KAYAK.

THAT THE HUNTERS LOOK FOR PLACES WHERE THE CARIBOU HAVE TO DO WATER CROSSING -- AND CARIBOU ARE GREAT SWIMMERS.

AND THEN YOU BASICALLY ATTACK THE CARIBOU WHILE THEY'RE SWIMMING, AND SEVERAL OF THE HUNTING LOCATIONS THAT WE'VE IDENTIFIED ON THE ALPENA-AMBERLEY RIDGE ARE ACTUALLY WATER CROSSINGS, AND SO THE HUNTING STRUCTURES ARE ON ONE SIDE OF THE RIVER, AND YOU'RE ANTICIPATING THE ANIMALS CROSSING, AND THEY'RE GONNA THEN AMBUSH THEM THERE.

NATIVE AMERICANS ARE KNOWN TO HAVE USED CANOES ON THE GREAT LAKES, NOT KAYAKS.

IF THIS FRAGMENT OF WOOD IS FROM A KAYAK, IT COULD MEAN THAT PALEO-INDIANS IN THE GREAT LAKES REGION HAD A CIVILIZATION LIKE ARCTIC ESKIMOS, USING SIMILAR SKILLS AND TOOLS TO SURVIVE.

THIS COULD BE A GROUNDBREAKING DISCOVERY THAT WOULD CHANGE HOW WE THINK ABOUT THE CULTURE AND TECHNOLOGY OF THE EARLIEST AMERICANS.

THE PUBLIC WILL SOON BE ABLE TO VISIT THE ALPENA-AMBERLEY RIDGE VIRTUALLY.

THE TEAM AT WAYNE STATE UNIVERSITY IS AT WORK ON A WEB-BASED VERSION THAT WILL ALLOW ANYONE TO VISIT AND EXPLORE THE RIDGE AS IT WAS 9,000 YEARS AGO.

♪♪

AFTER ALMOST A DECADE-LONG JOURNEY AND 3 BILLION MILES THROUGH THE SOLAR SYSTEM, NASA'S NEW HORIZONS SPACECRAFT MADE HISTORY WHEN IT PASSED BY PLUTO IN JULY OF 2015, SENDING BACK PHOTOS THAT HAVE AMAZED THE WORLD.

THE SPACECRAFT FLEW LESS THAN 8,000 MILES ABOVE THE SURFACE OF THE DWARF PLANET.

THAT'S ABOUT THE DISTANCE BETWEEN NEW YORK AND MUMBAI, INDIA.

JOINING ME IS DR. PHIL METZGER, A PLANETARY PHYSICIST AT THE UNIVERSITY OF CENTRAL FLORIDA SPACE INSTITUTE AND FORMER NASA SCIENTIST AT THE KENNEDY SPACE CENTER.

THE NEW HORIZONS' FLYBY WAS AN INCREDIBLE ACHIEVEMENT.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN WHAT MADE THAT SO SIGNIFICANT?

WELL, THIS WAS THE FIRST MISSION TO THE THIRD ZONE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM.

UNTIL RECENTLY, WE DIDN'T KNOW THAT THERE WAS A THIRD ZONE OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM.

WE ONLY KNEW ABOUT THE INNER SOLAR SYSTEM WITH MERCURY, VENUS, EARTH, MARS, AND THE ASTEROIDS, AND THEN WE KNEW ABOUT THE OUTER SOLAR SYSTEM WITH JUPITER, SATURN, URANUS, AND NEPTUNE, AND, OF COURSE, PLUTO TAGGED ON TO THE END OF IT.

BUT NOW WE REALIZE PLUTO IS ACTUALLY THE GATEWAY TO AN ENTIRE ZONE, WHICH HAS HUNDREDS OF WORLDS THAT ARE GEOLOGICALLY INTERESTING, DYNAMIC PLACES THAT ARE OUT THERE BEYOND NEPTUNE, AND SO THIS WILL BE -- THIS WAS OUR FIRST LOOK AT A WORLD OF THIS THIRD ZONE, AND WHAT A SURPRISE IT WAS.

IT WAS SO FASCINATING TO SEE THAT IT'S A GEOLOGICALLY ACTIVE WORLD, AND NOT ONLY IS PLUTO INTERESTING, BUT ITS LARGEST MOON, CHARON, WAS A REAL MIND-BLOWER, AS WELL.

SO THE FIRST TWO ROUND BODIES THAT WE SEE IN THE KUIPER BELT JUST BOTH BLEW OUR SOCKS OFF.

WOW.

AND WHAT INFORMATION AND PHOTOS AND OTHER DATA HAVE WE ALREADY BEEN GETTING BACK?

WELL, IT IS JUST IN THE EARLY STAGES OF SENDING BACK ITS DATA.

IT'S GONNA TAKE LIKE A YEAR TO SEND EVERYTHING BACK BECAUSE WHEN THEY FLEW BY, THERE WAS NO WAY TO SLOW DOWN, AND THEY COLLECTED DATA JUST AS FAST AS IT POSSIBLY COULD, SLAMMING IT INTO SOLID-STATE MEMORY, AND NOW FOR MONTHS AND MONTHS, IT'S GONNA BE SENDING THE DATA BACK TO EARTH.

WE'RE STARTING TO GET IMAGES SHOWING THE AMAZING ACTIVE GEOLOGY OF THE SURFACE.

WE'RE GETTING INFORMATION ABOUT THE ATMOSPHERE.

AND WHAT ARE SCIENTISTS HOPING TO LEARN FROM THIS MISSION?

WELL, LIKE I SAID, IT'S OUR FIRST LOOK AT A KUIPER BELT BODY, AND SO WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE DON'T KNOW.

WE DIDN'T REALIZE THAT IT WAS GONNA HAVE ACTIVE GLACIERS ON IT -- GLACIERS OF NITROGEN ICE FLOWING INTO THE MOUNTAINS, THE VALLEYS OF THE MOUNTAINS THAT ARE MADE OUT OF WATER ICE.

WHO WOULD HAVE EVER GUESSED SOMETHING LIKE THAT?

SO IT'S A CASE WHERE WE DON'T KNOW WHAT WE DON'T KNOW, AND THAT'S WHY WE DO EXPLORATION.

WE WANT TO GO NEW PLACES AND SEE WHAT'S THERE.

AND PLUTO WAS DEMOTED IN 2006 TO A DWARF PLANET, AND YOU ARGUE THAT THAT WAS A MISTAKE.

WHY DO YOU THINK SO?

YEAH.

I THINK THAT WAS A MISTAKE.

I THINK THAT THEY NEEDED TO COME UP WITH A WAY TO CATALOG THE BODIES THAT THEY WERE DISCOVERING, AND, UNFORTUNATELY, I THINK IT WAS A BIT OF A RUSH TO JUDGMENT BASED ON THE NEED TO MAKE A DECISION FOR CATALOGING.

AND THEN I THINK THE SECOND MISTAKE WAS AFTER THEY MADE A DECISION OF HOW ARE WE GONNA CATALOG THESE BODIES, THEY WENT OUT AND ARGUED PUBLICLY THAT PLUTO IS NOT A PLANET.

IT'S ONE THING TO MAKE A DECISION ABOUT HOW YOU'RE GONNA NUMBER SOMETHING IN A CATALOG, IT'S ANOTHER THING TO GO OUT AND TELL THE PUBLIC THAT THIS IS A SCIENTIFIC CONCLUSION BASED ON SCIENCE.

WELL, IT REALLY WAS NOT A GOOD CONCLUSION BASED ON SCIENCE.

THANK YOU SO MUCH, DR. METZGER.

MY PLEASURE.

ONE SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COUPLE IS GOING TO EXTREME MEASURES TO REVOLUTIONIZE THE PHYSICAL-THERAPY INDUSTRY.

WITH A STORE-BOUGHT MOTION-CAPTURE DEVICE, THEY DEVISED A WAY TO TRACK THE PROGRESS OF PATIENTS ONE STEP AT A TIME.

TOGETHER THIS POWER DUO LAUNCHED A START-UP CALLED PRECISION IN MOTION AND HOPE THEIR LOW-COST, HIGH-TECH SYSTEM FINDS ITS WAY INTO CLINICS ACROSS THE COUNTRY.

THIS IS WHAT PHYSICAL THERAPY COULD LOOK LIKE IN THE NOT-SO-DISTANT FUTURE -- A MOTION-CAPTURED IMAGE OF A PATIENT THAT LETS DOCTORS TAKE EXACT MEASUREMENTS.

SYSTEMS LIKE THIS ALREADY EXIST, BUT THE MACHINES COST HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF DOLLARS.

A START-UP COMPANY CALLED PRECISION IN MOTION IS MAKING ONE USING AN OFF-THE-SHELF MICROSOFT KINECT SENSOR AND A LITTLE SOFTWARE INGENUITY.

MICROSOFT HAS DEVELOPER TOOLS.

SO WE TOOK THE DEVELOPER TOOLS AND HAVE ADAPTED THEM TO PHYSICAL THERAPY.

ESSENTIALLY WHAT WE'RE DOING IS WE'RE TAKING THE TECHNOLOGY THAT'S ALREADY BEEN DEVELOPED FOR GAMING AND THREE-DIMENSIONAL ANALYSIS OF MOVEMENT, AND WE'RE HARNESSING THAT SENSOR, AND WE'RE BUILDING SOFTWARE THAT WILL MORE SPECIFICALLY ANSWER THE QUESTIONS THAT ARE APPROPRIATE FOR PHYSICAL THERAPISTS AND ADAPT TO OUR USE OF IT.

THE KINECT RECORDS THE PATIENT'S EVERY MOVEMENT IN A 3-D SPACE.

I AM TARGETING THE KNEE, AND I WANT TO KNOW HOW MUCH THE KNEE IS MOVING.

THE THING THAT I USE IS BASICALLY MY VISUAL ASSESSMENT OF HOW THEY'RE MOVING THAT KNEE.

WITH THE KINECT, WE'LL BE ABLE TO REPLAY HOW THEY WALKED AND SLOW IT DOWN.

SO I CAN SEE IT MUCH SLOWER AND ANALYZE IT, AND, IN ADDITION, ON THE SCREEN, IT'S GONNA SHOW UP EXACTLY WHAT THE RANGE IS AT EACH JOINT.

THE DEVELOPMENT TEAM SAYS THE SYSTEM IS A MAJOR STEP FORWARD IN THE FIELD OF PHYSICAL THERAPY.

NOT ONLY WILL IT BENEFIT CAREGIVERS, IT CAN ALSO INSPIRE PATIENTS.

WITH THIS SYSTEM, WE CAN PROJECT ON A SCREEN IN FRONT OF THEM SO THEY CAN ACTUALLY SEE WHAT THEY'RE DOING AS THEY'RE DOING IT.

SO THEY KNOW THAT ON THE SCREEN IT SAYS MY KNEE IS 30 DEGREES, AND I CAN PUSH IT TO 32 AND WORK HARD AT THE MOMENT.

SO BEING ABLE TO, AT THE MOMENT, SEE HOW YOU'RE DOING AND PUSH A LITTLE HARDER, I THINK IT SPEEDS UP PROGRESS IN REHABILITATION.

TODAY THE STANDARD OF MEASUREMENT IN MOST PHYSICAL THERAPY OFFICES IS A BEST GUESS THROUGH OBSERVATION.

AT HER PRACTICE, DR. BEUTTLER IS WORKING WITH COLIN, WHO IS A TOE WALKER.

SHE WATCHES HIS GAIT TO LOOK FOR IMPROVEMENTS IN HEEL STRIKES AS HE WALKS, THEN HAS TO STOP THE THERAPY SESSION TO GET EXACT MEASUREMENTS ON JOINT ANGLES.

IF I HAD A KINECT HERE, I WOULD LITERALLY NOT HAVE TO USE THIS.

I COULD LITERALLY TURN IT ON, SAY GO, AND HAVE BOTH SIDES RIGHT AWAY.

WHEREAS RIGHT NOW, I'M DOWN HERE ON THE FLOOR TRYING TO MEASURE, AND THEN I'M GONNA HAVE TO GO OVER ON THIS SIDE AND DO THE SAME THING.

DR. BEUTTLER BELIEVES THE KINECT SYSTEM WILL ALLOW THERAPISTS TO MAKE GREAT STRIDES IN PATIENT CARE.

I FEEL REALLY EXCITED THAT THIS COULD POTENTIALLY IMPROVE LIFE FOR A LOT OF PEOPLE IN A LOT OF DIFFERENT PLACES.

I MEAN, POTENTIALLY ALL OVER THE WORLD.

♪♪

ARCHEOLOGISTS EXCAVATING THE SITE OF AN EARLY AMERICAN COLONY DISCOVER SOMETHING ALARMING -- THE REMAINS OF A YOUNG WOMAN DATING BACK TO 1609.

SHE WAS ONE OF THE COLONISTS OF THE INFAMOUS JAMESTOWN, AN EARLY SETTLEMENT WHERE PROVISIONS QUICKLY DWINDLED DURING THE FIRST WINTER IN THE NEW WORLD.

NOW, 400 YEARS LATER, WITH THE HELP OF FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGISTS, PBS 'SECRETS OF THE DEAD' HAS THE EXTRAORDINARY STORY OF THIS YOUNG PIONEER.

DOUGLAS OWSLEY IS ONE OF THE LEADING FORENSIC ANTHROPOLOGISTS IN THE NATION.

I WORK WITH LAW-ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES IN THE IDENTIFICATION OF HUMAN SKELETAL REMAINS.

I HAVE WORKED ON THE BRANCH DAVIDIAN COMPOUND, WACO, ASSISTED THE IDENTIFICATION OF MEN AND WOMEN THAT WERE KILLED IN THE PENTAGON PLANE CRASH.

ONE OF MY EARLY CASES WAS JEFFREY DAHMER'S FIRST VICTIM.

OVER THE YEARS, I'VE LOOKED AT APPROXIMATELY 100 DIFFERENT SKELETONS, COMPLETE AND PARTIAL SKELETONS THAT HAD BEEN FOUND ON JAMESTOWN ISLAND.

I'VE NEVER SEEN IN ANY OF THOSE OTHERS ANYTHING LIKE WHAT WE SAW IN THE JANE CASE.

JANE IS TOTALLY UNIQUE.

JUST THE PHOTOGRAPHS SENT FROM JAMESTOWN GIVE DOUG SOME VITAL CLUES ABOUT JANE.

YOU CAN LOOK AT THE TEETH, AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE TEETH, YOU SEE THAT THERE'S A FIRST MOLAR -- MOST PEOPLE GET THEM AT AGE 6.

SECOND MOLAR -- MOST PEOPLE GET THEM AT AGE 12.

AND THE THIRD MOLARS AREN'T SHOWING UP HERE.

WE DON'T SEE THE THIRD MOLARS.

SO THEY'RE STILL ACTUALLY STILL UP IN THE SOCKETS.

THAT'S OUR BEST INDICATOR AS TO THE FACT THAT WE'RE DEALING WITH SOMEONE THAT'S ABOUT 14 YEARS OF AGE, A CLUE THAT WE'RE REALLY DEALING WITH AN ADOLESCENT, DEALING WITH A TEENAGER.

JANE'S BONES THEMSELVES ARRIVE IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

DR. KELSO'S TEAM BROUGHT THE PACKAGE UP.

EVERYTHING'S VERY CAREFULLY PACKAGED.

WE HAVE ABOUT TWO-THIRDS TO THREE-FOURTHS OF THE CRANIUM AND THE LOWER JAW, AND WE HAVE PART OF A LEG BONE.

THE FIRST THING THAT JUST STRIKES YOU WHEN YOU SEE JANE'S REMAINS ARE ALL OF THE NUMEROUS CUTS THAT ARE FOUND ON THE BONES -- CUTS AND CHOPS.

WHAT CAUSED THESE MARKS?

WHAT HAPPENED TO JANE?

♪♪ THE STORY BEGINS TO MATERIALIZE.

IT'S A STORY THAT'S ALL WRITTEN IN THE BONES, ESPECIALLY IN THE CRANIUM, THE MOST REVEALING OF THE REMAINS.

KARIN BRUWELHEIDE, DOUG'S LONG-TIME ASSOCIATE, WILL HELP EXPLAIN.

WELL, THE FIRST THING THAT REALLY GRABBED ME IS WHEN I SAW THE FRONTAL.

YOU HAD THESE FOUR STRIATIONS.

THEY'RE VERY CLOSELY SPACED.

THEY'RE ALL THE SAME SIZE.

THEY ARE REALLY TELLING BECAUSE THEY ARE VERY PARALLEL, AND BECAUSE OF THAT, YOU KNEW THEN THAT THE INDIVIDUAL WASN'T MOVING WHEN THEY WERE MADE.

YOU KNOW, IT'S JUST LIKE ANALYZING A FORENSIC CASE.

IF THIS INDIVIDUAL WAS ALIVE, IT WOULD HAVE BEEN STRUGGLING TO GET AWAY, PRESUMABLY, AND SO THE FACT THAT THEY'RE ALL VERY NICELY ALIGNED ON THAT FRONTAL BONE INDICATED TO US THAT SHE WAS ALREADY DEAD WHEN THESE CUTS WERE MADE.

IT'S NOT A CASE OF MURDER.

ALL OF THE CHOPS THAT WE SEE, ALL OF THE DAMAGE THAT WE SEE OCCURRED AFTER THE DEATH OF THIS YOUNG LADY.

BUT THEN YOU SHIFT YOUR ATTENTION TO THE BACK, AND THAT'S WHERE REALLY THE FORCE IS.

AS FAR AS THE OPENING OF THE SKULL HERE, I HAVE A LITTLE BIT MORE SENTIMENTAL NOTION THAT THEY WOULD NOT HAVE WANTED TO SEE THE FACE OF THE INDIVIDUAL.

IF YOU'RE LOOKING AT THE PERSON THAT YOU'RE TRYING TO BUTCHER, I THINK IT WOULD BE MORE AMENABLE TO TURN THE FACE AWAY FROM YOU AND TO ACTUALLY CONCENTRATE THEN ON YOUR OBJECTIVE.

IF THE STORY THE BONES TELL IS TRUE, THE PERSON BUTCHERING JANE COULD NOT BEAR TO LOOK AT HER FACE.

AND THE STRIKES ARE COMING DOWN NOW, AND YOU CAN SEE THAT.

THERE ARE FOUR CLEAR CHOPS TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD.

THE GOUGE IS INTO THE BONE ABOUT A DISTANCE OF 2 MILLIMETERS, AND IT STRIKES ONCE, STRIKES TWICE, THEN ANOTHER IMPACT, AND THIS IMPACT HERE IS EVEN DEEPER.

THE GRUESOME WORK IS NOT EASY.

♪♪

AND THEN THERE'S ANOTHER REALLY SIGNIFICANT CUT THAT I THINK IS THE ONE THAT IN THIS WHOLE PROCESS ACTUALLY COMPLETED THE FRACTURE.

IT BASICALLY SPLITS THROUGH AND CRACKS THE CRANIUM AT THIS POINT.

THE SKULL WAS BEING SPLIT OPEN.

THE PERSON WHO WAS DOING THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN ATTEMPTING TO REMOVE THE BRAIN.

THE BRAIN IS RICH IN NUTRIENTS.

IT'S GOT LOTS OF FAT IN IT.

IT'S NOT UNCOMMON IN TERMS OF 17th CENTURY DIET TO INCLUDE ANIMAL BRAINS IN FOOD DISHES.

♪♪

THE TERRIBLE TRUTH IS, THE SURVIVORS WERE FORCED TO RESORT TO CANNIBALISM.

♪♪ [ METAL CLANGS ]

WHAT WE HAVE WITH JANE IS WHAT WE CALL SURVIVAL CANNIBALISM.

JANE WAS EATEN SO THAT THE OTHERS COULD LIVE.

AT LEAST THREE PEOPLE WERE EATEN IN JAMESTOWN DURING THE DARK WINTER.

FURTHER TESTING WILL REVEAL MORE ABOUT JANE AND THE PEOPLE WHO ATE HER.

♪♪ DOUG WANTS TO EXAMINE HER BONES MORE CLOSELY.

WE START THINKING OF HOW TO BEST DOCUMENT THE CUTS AND CHOPS.

WE DECIDED TO WORK WITH SCOTT WHITTAKER IN DOCUMENTING THE PHOTOGRAPHS THROUGH STEREO ZOOM MICROSCOPY -- MAGNIFICATION, IF YOU WILL.

AND WE DECIDED TO USE SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY.

WHAT MAGNIFICATION ARE WE HERE?

HOW MANY TIMES ARE WE SEEING THAT?

WE'RE ABOUT 16 TIMES.

SO 16 TIMES ORIGINAL CUT.

IT'S A STRANGE TYPE OF CUTTING.

INSTEAD OF JUST GOING IN AND FORCEFULLY SLICING, IT'S A SAWING TYPE OF MOTION WHERE THEY'RE GOING BACK AND FORTH, BACK AND FORTH NUMEROUS TIMES.

WHEN YOU LOOK AT THIS UNDER THE SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPE, YOU CAN JUST SEE HOW THE BLADE GOES UP AND DOWN AND ALL AROUND.

IT'S JUST A -- IT'S A VERY KIND OF INEXPERIENCED, UNUSUAL TYPE OF DISSECTION.

WHAT'S SO UNUSUAL TO ME IS THIS MOTION HERE WHERE IT'S CLEARLY UP AND DOWN, RAKING AGAINST UP AND DOWN THE MANDIBLE, AND THEN LOSING THE TRACK, GOING THIS WAY, THIS WAY, ALL OVER.

ANYBODY WITH A SKILL IN BUTCHERY, IN KITCHEN-WORK...

RIGHT.

...WOULDN'T DO THAT AT ALL.

WHAT THEY'RE TRYING TO DO IS REMOVE THOSE TISSUES THAT HAVE NOT ONLY THE EXTERNAL SKIN AND DERMIS AND UNDERLYING TISSUE, BUT ALSO MUSCLE UNDERNEATH THAT.

IT'S PATTERNING AFTER WHAT YOU WOULD DO IN ANIMAL BUTCHERING, IT'S JUST BEING DONE VERY AWKWARDLY.

BOTTOM LINE IS THAT THE PERSON REALLY DIDN'T KNOW HOW TO USE A KNIFE.

SO WE ALSO HAVE TO REMEMBER THIS IS A LITTLE GIRL.

SO WE HAVE TO CONSIDER THAT AS WE LOOK AT THESE TOOL MARKS.

YOU KNOW, THEY'RE TENTATIVE.

THEY'RE NOT CONFIDENT.

THIS IS A PERSON.

THIS IS SOMEBODY THEY KNOW.

JANE'S BONES TELL US BOTH HOW SHE WAS BUTCHERED AND HOW DIFFICULT IT WAS FOR THE PEOPLE WHO PERFORMED THE TASK.

WERE THESE PEOPLE REALLY MONSTERS?

NO.

I THINK THEY WERE JUST NORMAL PEOPLE THAT HAD TO SURVIVE.

THEY WERE ORDINARY PEOPLE WHO WERE STARVING.

PEOPLE LIKE US.

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT 'SECRETS OF THE DEAD: JAMESTOWN'S DARK WINTER,' CHECK YOUR LOCAL LISTINGS OR VISIT pbs.org/secrets.

♪♪ AND THAT WRAPS IT UP FOR THIS TIME.

FOR MORE ON SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, AND INNOVATION, VISIT OUR WEBSITE, CHECK US OUT ON FACEBOOK AND INSTAGRAM, AND JOIN THE CONVERSATION ON TWITTER.

YOU CAN ALSO SUBSCRIBE TO OUR YouTube CHANNEL.

UNTIL NEXT TIME, I'M HARI SREENIVASAN.

THANKS FOR WATCHING.

FUNDING FOR THIS PROGRAM IS MADE POSSIBLE BY THE CORPORATION FOR PUBLIC BROADCASTING... ♪♪