It is an enduring mystery that has fascinated archaeologists and historians for hundreds of years now: Where did members of the Lost Colony go?
The colony founded by John White in 1587 still is lost in terms of clear historic explanations, but with each new clue, each new theory, hopes rise that the definitive story of the end of the colony may one day be known.
The latest clues are pottery shards found 60 miles west of the spot on the Outer Banks where White brought his English settlers and where Virginia Dare, his granddaughter, became the first person born to English parents in the New World.
The First Colony Foundation and archaeologists and historians who work with it are offering theories on what might have happened to the colony. All that is known of that mystery is that when White came back from a trip to England for supplies, the colonists were gone and the word “Croatoan” was carved on a gatepost and “CRO” was carved on a tree. Some historians venture the colonists moved south; others wonder whether they were killed by local Native American tribes or whether disease wiped out the colony after it moved.
The pottery appears to be time-appropriate, and locating the actual place where colonists may have moved would be important. But Durham lawyer Phil Evans, president of the foundation, said, “There’s a lot more unknown to be discovered. The future before us is one of still searching, still researching.”