Over the past 50 years, archaeological digs at the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site on Roanoke Island have failed to turn up evidence of the palisades of the English fort of 1585 or the building of the lost colonists’ settlement of 1587.
New ideas—and archaeological evidence—may provide answers to colonial North America’s longest-running mystery
After traveling to England in 1587 for supplies, John White returned to the Roanoke colony three years later. They found no trace of the settlers save for the word "Croatoan" carved into a post.
One hot august day in 1590, the heavily armed privateer Hopewell dropped anchor off the Outer Banks of North Carolina. John White had returned to resupply the 118 men, women, and children whom he had left on Roanoke Island three long years earlier.