Lonely Planet Writer

Possible evidence found in search for Roanoke Island's 'Lost Colony'

The recent finding of two pieces of pottery near a mound of earth on Roanoke Island is believed to be related to the disappearance of a third group of English settlers who arrived on the island in the late 16th century, often referred to as the Lost Colony.

Outer Banks, Roanoke Island,
Outer Banks, Roanoke Island, Image by James Willamor / CC BY-SA 2.0

The fate of those settlers has long been a puzzle to historians. The area where the pottery was found is believed to be the site of a 16th century fort. The blue and white quarter-sized fragments appear to be from a medicine jar, possibly used to mix medicine and salves.

The Lost Colony was in what is now Dare County, North Carolina and is part of the area known as the Outer Banks. Dare County was named after Virginia Dare, the first English child born on American soil, and one of the settlers from the Lost Colony.