Most kids learn the story of the Lost Colony of Roanoke at some point, but could its fate have been hiding in plain sight all along, behind some patches on a map? It's a major clue that could eventually solve a 400-year-old mystery.
According to the Daily Telegraph in the UK, scholars studying the 16th century La Virginea Pars map painted by James White think they have found clues that reveal where the colonists may have vanished to: the confluence of the Chowan and Roanoke rivers.
The key to the discovery are two patches on the map. The painstakingly accurate map was a key tool in recruiting new investors and colonists for Britain's New World settlements. Given its importance, the patches led Brent Lane of the First Colony Foundation to wonder what was underneath them. Quite a lot, as it turns out.
One patch corrects mistakes on the placement of villages along the Pamlico river shoreline. But the other hid the location of a possible fort. Modern America has covered that location with a golf course and subdivision, which means it could be years before the area is excavated, but this is a major step along the way to solving a 400-year-old mystery. [Daily Telegraph]