Monument to Roanoke Voyages


This monument was erected by the state of North Carolina in 2001, following a presentation of an archaeological research design by Fred Willard, Director of the Lost Colony Center of Science and Research. This research was first presented at the Roanoke Conference in Manteo, North Carolina on September 10th & 11th, 1998. The paper was accepted for publication, edited by Dr. Charles Ewen and Dr. E. Thomas Shields of East Carolina University, and published in the Spring of 2004.

The research design was prepared as a hypothesis of where the “Relic Inlet” of Port Ferdinando is located today. The Port Ferdinando Inlet closed around 1808. The inlet was used by all of the Roanoke voyages, including the famous 1587 Lost Colony. The “Relic Inlet” is located very near the present Bodie Island Lighthouse, which is about 2 miles north of Oregon Inlet. Oregon Inlet opened in 1848.

Interesting new research is being done utilizing state-of-the-art technology in satellite imaging, which has the capability to include ground penetration. With predictive modeling, where research predicts where to look, this will allow researchers to possibly locate Ralph Lane’s 1585 “A New Fort in Virginia.” The IKONOS statellite orbits over 240 miles in space, seven times a day. A captured image, which costs $4,000, can identify a known object at one-meter resolution, or about 3x3 feet. The research is still preliminary with scientific evidence yet to be procured.


Fred Willard, Director of Lost Colony Center, Ruth Wilson, Volunteer, and Will Moore, Archaeologist, doing field work at Port Ferdinando site, attempting to locate Ralph Lane's 1585 "A New Fort In Virginia".



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