Source: Outer Banks Voice

A new book by Croatoan Archaeological Society president Scott Dawson has shed new light on a topic many North Carolinians learned about in middle school. Dawson’s new book suggests that The Lost Colony wasn’t really lost; in fact, they may have just moved down the road to Hatteras Island from Roanoke.

When Roanoke Colony Governor John White returned to the island in 1590, the colony had disappeared, but not without leaving a word carved into a fence post: Croatoan. The meaning of that word was not lost on White, Dawson says. What we now call Hatteras Island was known as Croatoan at the time. 

Dawson and a team of archaeologists have scoured Hatteras Island for remnants of the colonists and their search has been more successful than he could’ve hoped for.

“As much as I believed the colony went down [to Hatteras], I never actually thought we were going to find it,” he told the Outer Banks Voice. “I can’t believe we found what we found. It’s kind of surreal.”

After some excavating, the team found proof that there had been colonists on Hatteras at the time who had come from Roanoke settlement.

“We not only found evidence of mixed architecture of houses but also metallurgy, where they had blacksmith shops and were also working in copper and lead, and this continued right on into the 1600s,” Dawson said. “It’s hard to say how many, but a few dozen at least lived for a few decades down there in the villages and continued to work in metals.”

Read the full interview with Scott Dawon on his new book from the Outer Banks Voice.