The Southern Colonies

Start Free Trial

Will the mystery of the Roanoke Colony ever be solved?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

The desertion of the Roanoke colony in 1590 remains a mystery. Will it ever be explained? An unexpected archaeological discovery in the future may provide an answer.

There were almost no clues left at the abandoned colony. "CROATOAN" and "CRO" were found carved on a post and a tree, respectively. Croatoan was the name of a nearby tribe.

The tribe members may have been responsible for the colonists' disappearance. They might have destroyed the settlement. Another idea is that the settlers willingly joined a Native American tribe. But there is no evidence to support either theory.

England was at war with Spain during this time. Spain would have attacked the colony if it had the opportunity, but there is no reason to believe the colony was annihilated by a Spanish attack.

History is replete with mysteries. One that remains unsolved is the location of Alexander the Great's tomb. The identity of Jack the Ripper, on the other hand, has recently been established due to DNA testing. Barring an unforeseen discovery, Roanoke's fate is likely to remain a mystery.

See eNotes Ad-Free

Start your 48-hour free trial to get access to more than 30,000 additional guides and more than 350,000 Homework Help questions answered by our experts.

Get 48 Hours Free Access
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team