New Clues Bring Search for Indigenous Village of Roanoke to Elizabethan Gardens

The story of an English settlement known as the “Lost Colony” of Roanoke and Sir Walter Raleigh’s early explorers remains one of the most fascinating mysteries of American history.

The search for what happened to the English settlers has recently focused on the Elizabethan Gardens in Manteo, where researchers uncovered more evidence of a farmstead belonging to the “Algonquian village of Roanoke” (also spelled Roanoac), an Indigenous community that hosted the explorers in 1584.

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First Colony Foundation presents: Excavating Fort Raleigh Archaeology at England's First Colony

Lost Colony: New Book Set for Launch at Pioneer Theater Event

First Colony Foundation will launch a new book, Excavating Fort Raleigh, by the late Ivor Noel-Hume on his archaeological search for traces of Sir Walter Raleigh’s efforts to plant an English colony on Roanoke Island, with an event at the Pioneer Theater in Manteo on Saturday, April 6, at 4 p.m. Open to the public, the free, one-hour event will include a ceremonial presentation to the Park Service, brief remarks and background on the book, followed by a Q&A session and book signing.

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Eric Klingelhofer directs volunteers Jeremy Bliven (foreground) and Jay Ward, as digging begins, while Tama Creef looks on.

Elizabethan Gardens Multi-Year Dig Project Completed

Pottery sherds uncovered during First Colony Foundation’s most recent dig at Elizabethan Gardens on Roanoke Island may have been used during the First Contact between Sir Walter Raleigh’s explorers and local Native Americans in 1584. And, in the present day, they help establish the size and extent of the Algonquian village of Roanoac that hosted that long-ago encounter.

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