Fort Raleigh Construction Project

Geometric Analysis & Virtual Imaging

Archaeologists have found some clues to the location of Sir Walter Raleigh’s “Virginia” colonies, but no evidence for the settlement of the remains of the colonists has yet been found. The most important piece of verifiable evidence is the small Elizabethan earthwork fort, locally called “Old Fort Raleigh,” which became the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site. The earthwork was excavated and reconstructed over 50 years ago by the U.S. Park Service.

New research by First Colony Foundation is underway, and this fort and its reconstruction are being re-evaluated by FCF. I asked a Mercer University mathematics major, Daniel Brown, to calculate the amount of dirt taken out of the fort ditch and the amount that would have been used to make the fort’s earthen walls. His computations and geometric drawings serve as the basis for this project: a computerized presentation of his analysis and 3D imaging of the fort construction.

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