North Carolina November 13, 2016
The Archeological Discovery That Could Reveal The Truth Behind North Carolina’s Biggest Mystery
With American Horror Story’s ‘Roanoke’ well underway, the Lost Colony has yet again found itself in the spotlight. As North Carolina’s biggest mystery, the question of where the colonists vanished to without a trace has never been solved – possibly until now. Recent archaeological discoveries made in July 2016 could possibly trace the 117 missing men, women, and children to Bertie County.
Archaeologists have discovered dozens of artifacts in an 850-ft. tract south of the Chowan River Bridge. Findings include nails from the 16th century, bale seals used to verify textile quality, pieces of pottery jars for storing dried fish, tenterhooks, and firing pans from snaphance guns of the colonists' time.
The rural area where the artifacts were discovered is on high ground, making it an idea spot for a settlement. Indeed, the spot has been inhabited for many centuries. The first residents were Native Americans; then came the English. Later, a governor's plantation was built on the site. A proposed development on the site in 2007 was instrumental in revealing the new artifacts. A developer wanted to build on the land, but the state required a standard pre-construction search for historic artifacts. The search revealed signs of a Native American village and pieces of English pottery.
Pictured above is the presumed original site of the Lost Colony.
Before leaving Roanoke for England in 1587, John White told the settlers to move 50 miles from their current location. This instruction hasn't provided many clues to archaeologists about where the settlers might have moved since a 50-mile radius from their starting point covers so much land. But a map White drew in the 1580s provided some guidance once researchers looked a little closer. There was a patch on the map covering what seemed to be a fort in the area that is now Bertie County. That site is where the newly-found artifacts were uncovered. Adding fuel to the idea that this is the site of the fabled lost colony is its distance from Roanoke Island: 49.32 nautical miles. At this point there is no definitive proof that this is where the Lost Colony ended up, but the findings are certainly intriguing.
What exactly happened to the colonists might always remain a mystery, but these findings may bring researchers and archaeologists one step closer to cracking North Carolina's most enduring mystery.
If the Lost Colony is new news to you, you can read all about it, as well as the chilling legend behind it,
In addition to the Lost Colony, North Carolina is filled with plenty of mysteries and bits of history that you might not know,
like these ten. It doesn’t end with that, though – archaeologists have also uncovered these eight surprising discoveries.