The dig had turned up many Native American artifacts, which are common in the region — but also some European artifacts. At the time, Mr. Luccketti hypothesized that they had been left by later European settlers, from a nearby plantation or the homestead of a trader who arrived in the mid-1600s.
But the recent insights from the British Museum’s analysis of the map prompted the foundation to re-examine the 2007 findings from Merry Hill and other dig sites in the region. A key to identifying the earliest colonial life was a type of ceramic known as Surrey-Hampshire Border ware, which was no longer imported to the New World after the Virginia Company dissolved in the early 17th century….
Slowly, the pits gave up their secrets. In just the small areas excavated, the hillside has yielded an unusually high concentration of Border ware and other colonial artifacts, such as a food-storage jar called a baluster, a hook used to stretch hides, a buckle, and pieces of early gun flintlocks called priming pans. No signs of a fort or other structures have been found, but the aggregate of the artifacts convinced the archaeologists that at least a few of the colonists wound up there.
Mr. Luccketti insists on the caveat that only a small number — fewer than a dozen — were present for an indeterminate amount of time. ‘ It wasn’t the relocated colony — I keep emphasizing that — and we need to do some more work here to understand,’ he said.
–from “The Roanoke Colonists: Lost, and Found?” in New York Times, August 10, 2015. The First Colony Foundation will discuss its latest findings in the Pleasants Family Assembly Room of Wilson Library on the UNC campus at 10 am on August 11.