Experts from the First Colony Foundation and the British Museum in London discussed their findings Thursday at an academic meeting on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. They focused on the map 'Virginia Pars ’, a map of Virginia and North Carolina created by explorer John White in 1580 and held by the British Museum since 1866.
“We believe this evidence shows conclusive evidence that they moved westward to Albemarle Sound where the Chowan and Roanoke rivers meet.”Says James Horn, vice president of historical research and interpretation at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and co-author of a 2010 book on the Lost Colony. “The intention was to create a settlement. And this is what we think we are seeing with this symbol, its clear intention marked on the map”.
Next to the map are two patches. A patch appears for correct a mistake on the map, but the other (which is situated in present-day Bertie County and northeastern North Carolina) hides what appears to be a fortress. Another symbol, what appears to be a weak drawing of another type of fortress, is drawn at the top of the patch.
American and British scholars believe that the symbol of the fort could indicate where they settled. British researchers will join the meeting on Thursday via webcast.
In an announced meeting, the museum says that “First Colony Foundation researchers believe it could mark, literally and symbolically, "the road to Jamestown." Thus, this is a unique discovery of great importance.”.
White made the map and other drawings when he traveled to Roanoke Island. in 1585 on an expedition commanded by Sir Ralph Lane. In 1587, a second colony of 116 Englishmen arrived on Roanoke Island, led by White. Left the island for England for more provisions, but could not return before 1590 Due to the war between England and Spain.
When it came back, the colony was gone. White knew that most had planned to move. "50 miles at sea”As he wrote referring to the western part. The only clue he found about the other two dozen was the word 'CROATOAN'Written on a post, leading historians to believe that they moved south to live with the American Indians on what is now Hatteras Island.
But the discovery of the symbol of the fort offers the first clue in centuries about what happened to the 95 settlers, experts said Thursday. Researchers at the British Museum discovered it because Brent Lane, a member of the First Colony Foundation, asked a rather obvious question: What's under these two patches?
The researchers say that the patches attached to the incredibly accurate map were made with contemporary ink and paper along with the rest of the map. One of the bug fixes is the coastline of the Pamlico River and the location of some towns. But the other covers the symbol of possible strength, which is visible only when the map is viewed through a light box.
The map was critical to Sir Walter Raleight's mission to lure its investors into the second colony, Lane says. It was critical for him to convince Queen Elisabeth I to leave him establish a colony in the New World. It was critical for the settlers who sailed in small ships through the rough waters.
That made Lane miss: “If there was such an exact map and it was critical to your mission, why are there patches on it? This important document was shown to investors and royalty to document the success of the mission. And it had patches on it like nothing”.
Researchers don't know why anyone would cover the symbol with a patch, even though Horn says the drawings could indicate the settlements they planned to build more than the settlement of a fortress.
The land where archaeologists would need to dig is private property, and some of them could be under a golf course and a residential community. So digging is not a short-term option. But it's not necessary either, says Nicholas Luccketti, a professional archaeologist in Virginia and North Carolina for more than 35 years.
The archaeologists ceramics should be re-examined first, including some recovered from the Bertie County area called Salmon Creek, he says.
“This clue is the most significant to indicate where the investigation should continue”Says Lane. "The search for the colonists did not begin this decade; this century did not begin. It started as soon as their absence was found on Roanoke Island. I would say that all generations in the last 400 years have investigated”. But none had the sophisticated technology of today to help, he says. "None of them had this clue on the map”.
With a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication, since I was a child I have been attracted to the world of information and audiovisual production. Passion for informing and being informed of what is happening in every corner of the planet. Likewise, I am pleased to be part of the creation of an audiovisual product that will later entertain or inform people. My interests include cinema, photography, the environment and, above all, history. I consider it essential to know the origin of things to know where we come from and where we are going. Special interest in curiosities, mysteries and anecdotal events in our history.