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DISCOVERING THE FUTURE BY REVEALING THE PAST


ARCHEOLOGICAL DIG / SITE X at SALMON CREEK - 2015

2015 Archeological dig at Site X:  The First Colony Foundation uncovered archaeological evidence of the 1587 Roanoke colonists' presence at Site X (fort area located on map made by White) in the Salmon Creek area located at the west end of the Albamarle Sound . The artifacts from the limited area that was excavated by the First Colony Foundation, particularly the large amount of Surrey-Hampshire Border ware, as well as sherds of North Devon plain baluster jar which were provisioning jars for sea voyages, they concluded that the finds are the result of Roanoke colonists' activity at the site and were not related to later English settlement in the area. The First Colony Foundation believes that the evidence is more likely the result of the 1587 colony's stated plan to relocate from Roanoke Island rather than possible brief visits in previous years by exploratory parties under Philip Amadas or Ralph Lane. "The excavation of domestic table wares from several different diagnostic vessels along with other less diagnostic, but possibly contemporaneous artifacts, strongly suggests that the above mentioned European presence was of a longer duration and the activities different from those recorded for the pre-1587 English exploration of the lower Chowan River basin." The First Colony Foundation does not contend that Site X on its own represents the relocation site for all of 1587 colonists and that further excavation should help determine the nature and duration of the Elizabethan presence at Site X.

 

The First Colony Foundation's hypothesis was that the Elizabethan artifacts at Site X represent perhaps a small group of survivors. In the message carved on the reverse of the Dare headstone, Elyanor states that by about August/September of 1591, that only 24 colonists' remained: "Onlie Misarie & Warre Tow Yeere / Above Half Dead here Two Year More From Sickness Being Four & Twenty (24)." The First Colony Foundation estimates that from their findings to date, that about 7 - 10 colonists' lived at the site. With a full excavation of Site X, possibly their estimate would increase.

 

Elyanor then states in her message, that following a Indian attack on the colonists' that only 7 of the colonists' remained. Possibly this is the area where the seven remaining colonists' settled for a period of time before splitting up as is shown on a map (Zuniga map) made between 1607 and 1610 by the Jamestown colony. The probability that the 117 colonists' split up into groups and lived at different locations is real. Regardless of this, Elyanor states in her message that all of the colonists' were buried together in the same place as she may be too: "Buried All Near 4 Miles East This River Upon Small Hill / Names Written All There On Rock."     

Surrey-Hampton Border ware (at left), was excavated from the fort area in 2015 and used by the 1587 colonists'. 

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