Archaeological News

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CHAPEL HILL — Perhaps the best clue in more than 420 years to North Carolina’s most famous mystery has just been revealed.

The remains of the Lost Colony, it turns out, could sit under an Arnold Palmer-designed golf course in Bertie County.

Researchers at the British Museum in London, acting at the request of a group of historians and archaeologists here, have found a symbol hidden on an ancient map that could show where members of the English colony established on Roanoke Island in 1587 moved.

Representatives of the First Colony Foundation and scholars at the British Museum – who appeared via video webcast – announced the discovery Thursday morning in a news conference at UNC Chapel Hill’s Wilson Library.

The elaborate “Virginea Pars” map was created by members of Sir Walter Raleigh’s Roanoke Colony expeditions of 1584-1590, the first attempt to establish an English Colony in the New World.

The map, which is unusually accurate for its time, shows the coastal area from the Chesapeake Bay to Cape Lookout, and pinpoints the locations of several native American villages.

Brent Lane, an adjunct professor of Heritage Education at the UNC Kenan Institute and a scholar with the First Colony Foundation, was studying a map made by the leader of the 1587 colony expedition, John White, when he became intrigued with two patches of paper pasted over small parts of it. Read more.