Thanks for posting our video. I'm Dan Smith, the Jamestown Rediscovery archaeologist you see digging in the well in this one. We're not sure why we find so many metal tools in the bottoms of wells. One theory is that they were used as bucket weights—they would be tied to the handle of a bucket to get it to tip over and fill with water after hitting the water's surface. Our head curator, Bly Straube, isn't convinced that's the reason, though.
In answer to Le Loup's questions, we find almost everything that was used on a daily basis in the wells. Once wells went bad—maybe from an animal falling in and spoiling the water, but more often here at Jamestown because the brackish James River water and nearby swamp water eventually seeped into the reservoir and made the water undrinkable—they were turned into trash pits. Like Gorges Smythe wrote, that turns the well into a treasure trove for us because of all the information waiting to be rediscovered. We've found a number of wells here, but never a privy. The wells alone have yielded about a million of the two-million-plus artifacts we've found here at Historic Jamestowne since 1994, so we're not complaining.
Thanks, again, for posting the video. Three more well videos, the first and second wells the colonists dug, and a third, brick-lined well can be found at: