History repeats itself for archaeologists
Press release issued: 19 April 2010
Among the victims of Iceland’s volcanic ash cloud are a group of Bristol archaeologists, stranded on the outer banks of North Carolina in the United States.
Staff and students from Bristol University’s Department of Archaeology and Anthropology were working close to the site of Sir Walter Raleigh’s lost colony, which was the first English settlement in the New World, planted in 1585, but the colonists were abandoned in 1587 and never located. It is thought that they were either killed or lived out their lives with the local American Indians hoping to be rescued.
Mark Horton, Professor in Archaeology, leading the project, and also stranded in America, commented: ‘It’s taken 425 years for the British to return to the New World to seek out their Lost Colony, I hope we don’t have to wait that long.’
Also stranded with the archaeologists is the Mayor of Bideford, Devon, Andy Powell, who was over in the States for a twinning ceremony with Manteo, where the first colony was established. It was from Bideford that several of the 16th century rescue attempts were mounted, but thwarted by the Spanish Armada.
The archaeologists and the Mayor are hoping the ash cloud will clear in the next few days, but are using the time to dig some more trenches and study their findings so far.