Here at VDARE.COM, we're interested in the Lost Colony and the mystery surrounding its fate. After all, VDARE.COM is named after the colony's Virginia Dare, first English child born in America.
In 2020 I had the opportunity to visit the site of the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island, on North Carolina's Outer Banks.
To get there from the mainland, we crossed the Virginia Dare Memorial Bridge. A sign on the island proclaims it to be "Roanoke Island - Birthplace of America's First English Child 1587."
They seem to be proud of the Lost Colony on the island. Certainly, some of that is driven by tourism promotion, but what's wrong with that? It's good to see promotion of our heritage.
National Public Radio reports that archaeologists too are still interested in the Lost Colony.
It's one of the nation's great mysteries: The first permanent colony of English settlers in what would become the U.S., founded in North Carolina in 1587 by Sir Walter Raleigh, disappeared three years later with virtually no trace. Now, archaeologists hope a new search for the Lost Colony will unearth clues about what happened to 117 men, women and children who vanished and were never seen again.
The First Colony Foundation, a group of archaeologists, is partnering with the National Park Service for a series of digs beginning this week at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. "This dig includes new ground that's never been tested archaeologically," Jami Lanier, a cultural resource manager and historian with the National Park Service, said in a statement. "So, it's very exciting to see what may be found."
[Sir Walter Raleigh's Colony Vanished Over 400 Years Ago. Scientists Are Still Looking, by Joe Hernandez, NPR, September 16, 2021]
Yes, it certainly is.
The dig occurring this week is focusing on a previous expedition to the area in 1585, when a group of military men and scientists scouted the land for Raleigh.
The search will occur on several sites, including a metallurgical and science workshop set up by Thomas Harriot and Joachim Gans just a few years before the permanent settlers arrived.
Archaeologists will reexcavate sites where previous searches may have missed or misinterpreted soil changes called "features" to better understand what was there, according to the foundation. Some artifacts have already been discovered there, but scientists have also used ground-penetrating radar to identify new areas of interest.
Last year, the team of archaeologists found shards of pottery they believe may have been owned by members of Raleigh's colony.
The public is invited to watch the digs in person.
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said of the Lost Colony: “We do not know the fate of Virginia Dare or the First Colony. We do know, however, that the story of America is largely a record of that spirit of adventure.”