One of the greatest American mysteries in history, the disappearance of an entire colony of settlers from Roanoke Island in the late 16th century, might be a step closer to being solved. The smoking gun? A really old map, apparently.
The apparent disappearance of dozens of settlers from the North Carolina island has baffled historians for centuries, with everything from alien abductions to Yeti attacks tossed around as semi-viable explanations for why the entire village would vanish.
But what historians are calling the Virginea Pars map may hold a clue. The map, circa 1580 and showing parts of Virginia and North Carolina, appears to show an unidentified fort symbol added to a patch, which could indicate that the colonists left the area to reestablish a colony elsewhere.
"We believe that this evidence provides conclusive proof that they moved westward up the Albemarle Sound to the confluence of the Chowan and Roanoke rivers," historian James Horn, with the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, said. "Their intention was to create a settlement. And this is what we believe we are looking at with this symbol—their clear intention, marked on the map."
Solid theory or not, it may be a hard one to prove definitively.
Now that historians know where the colony may have gone, they obviously want to go digging to see if they can find evidence of a settlement. But it seems modern-day construction has conspired against them. The area shown on the map is now a golf course and residential community, meaning it could be years before anyone is able to get rights of entry to start snooping around.
Regardless of where the colony may or may not have gone, it still doesn't answer the only clue left behind at the site: The word CROATOAN carved into a post. Sure, they could've teamed up with the nearby Croatoan Indians, but our money is on the Croatoan virus that took out that small town in The CW's Supernatural. I mean, seriously, it only makes sense.
(Via Yahoo News)