It was a typical Outer Banks Fall day when I pulled into the parking lot of The Coastal NC National Wildlife Refuges Gateway Visitor Center, located in Manteo, NC. Charles Ewen, Professor in the Department of Anthropology, Director of the Phelps Archaeology Laboratory, East Carolina University and President-elect to The Society for Historical Archaeology, was there to speak on the topic of Croatoan: Guidepost or Misdirection ?
This past Summer, I had the pleasure of spending two weeks digging many many test pits with him, along with several others from the Lost Colony Research Group of which I am a member. Our mission, to find where the village of Croatoan was once located on Hatteras Island. At this point my only remark on that topic can be, boy that water table is high.
But...It was a wonderful experience and I was looking forward to once again seeing Charlie and hearing his version of how he thought the dig went. He spoke to a room packed with archaeology buffs, professionals, and history lovers. It is definitely a topic that draws attention and crowds. No doubt it's because the mystery of where Sir Walter Raleigh's Lost Colony went after they left Roanoke Island, plays such a major role in our country's earliest English settlers and let's face it, who doesn't love a good mystery ?
Professor Ewen, began the lecture by briefly explaining to those knowing and unknowing, the story of the Lost Colonist and what evidence existed that points myself and others to the belief that they ended up co-habitating with the Croatoans, leaving generations of descendants on Hatteras Island and surrounding areas of eastern North Carolina. Course as Charlie stated, all the colonies are still actually lost and nothing has been found on Hatteras Island or elsewhere to definitely pin point where they went. Perhaps this is true. Charlie did touch on the topic of the lack of publishing when it comes to the finds that have been unearthed at previous digs. With that said, it is truly hard in my opinion, to know for sure. But I am no pro, so I'll leave the archaeology up to those with a degree.
The hour went by too quickly. Questions and answers followed the lecture and I came away with the mind set that there was still much to be learned about Croatoan...it's people...past and present. As President of the Hatteras Island Genealogical Society, it is my passion to listen to the stories of the people who have lived here for generations. Perhaps they truly hold the answer to where the Croatoans and the Lost Colonist went. Time will only tell.
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