Visitors are welcome starting Wednesday to watch archaeologists dig for clues at new locations within Fort Raleigh National Historic Site near Manteo, an effort to solve the mystery of Sir Walter Raleigh’s “Lost Colony” that went missing more than 400 years ago.
The First Colony Foundation, a group of professional archaeologists, have partnered with the National Park Service on this dig and received an Archaeological Resources Protection Act permit after a thorough review process.
Rangers will be at the dig site from 1:45-2:45 p.m. daily from Wednesday until Sept. 24, weather permitting, to chat with visitors.
The mystery of the Lost Colony is not only where they went, but where those 117 men, women and children lived while on Roanoke Island.
“The upcoming dig offers a unique opportunity for anyone interested in the fate of the Lost Colony to watch professional archaeologists at work,” said David Hallac, superintendent, National Parks of Eastern North Carolina, in a statement.
The archaeological dig will explore multiple sites, including the metallurgical and science workshop, dubbed the “Science Workshop,” where numerous artifacts have already been uncovered, and promising, new areas that were surveyed in 2016 using a ground penetrating radar, according to the National Park Service.
“This dig includes new ground that’s never been tested archaeologically,” said Jami Lanier, cultural resource manager and historian. “So, it’s very exciting to see what may be found.”
Earthen ramparts likely built during an expedition in 1585 and abandoned before the Lost Colony’s arrival two years later, offer clues and will be examined further during the archaeological work.
Past digs on the Fort Raleigh site have uncovered Elizabethan and Native American artifacts including pottery, tools and trade items.