Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Copper Necklace Inspires More Digs at Roanoke

Necklace inspires more digs

Jim Driscoll operated the radar machine as he carefully drove across flat land near the old fort site just outside of the theater enclosure.
On a hot and humid afternoon last week, a Bobcat 5600 vehicle used a sophisticated radar that looked like a bush hog farm tractor attachment to try to find artifacts near the main gate to the Lost Colony's Waterside Theater on the north end of Roanoke Island.

In addition to the data the radar tomography amassed, yet another dig is planned for this fall as the quest to find out what happened to America's first colony continues.

This time last summer, the archeology group, First Colony Foundation and its radar sub contractor, had some success on the site. During a dig they uncovered a copper necklace in the wooded, sand dunes not too far from the theater.

It was an exciting time to see it "in situ," said foundation archeologist and co-director Eric Klingelhofer.

The necklace is on display at the Lindsay Warren Visitor's Center located in the Fort Raleigh National Historic Site, which encompasses the visitor's center, the Lost Colony and Elizabethan Gardens.

"The copper necklace was just put on exhibit,"
Jason Powell, park ranger said. "It's the first time in public."

He said the park service also plans to create an improved exhibit with renovations beginning in the fall.


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