Archaeology Magazine

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The New Search for the Lost Colony

Monday, December 09, 2013

(John White, Public Domain via Wikipedia Commons)MACON, GEORGIA—An investigation led by Eric Klingelhofer of Mercer University may have found new clues into the disappearance of the lost colony of Roanoke Island. Last year, researchers discovered that a patch on a sixteenth-century map of coastal Virginia and North Carolina covered a symbol that could represent a fort. Would some of the lost colonists have moved to this location in case of an emergency? “Our best idea is that parts of Raleigh’s exploration in North America were a state secret, and the map ‘cover-up’ was an effort to keep information from the public and from foreign agents,” Klingelhofer said. Where else could a small group of the more than 100 colonists have gone to find refuge? After using satellite images to orient historic maps, the team used magnetometers and ground-penetrating radar to look for metal objects, graves, and signs of collapsed wooden structures. “We have to go in and dig some holes, I guess,” added Clay Swindell of North Carolina’s Museum of the Albemarle.