Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Found Cannon from Lost Colony?

I have always thought the Lost Colony of Roanoke was fascinating. And, I like reading about naval history/artifacts. This story sort of combines the two and caught my eye.

AP: Archaeologist takes 2nd look at cannon---

Rod Mather, a professor of maritime history and underwater archaeology at the University of Rhode Island, has studied the 25-square-mile area surrounding the site where the cannon was found the past two summers.

Some historians believe the 4-feet-long, 300-pound cannon, which was loaded when it was found 24 years ago, is an English cannon from the 1580s, making it one of the oldest English artifacts ever found in the Americas.

Others argue that even if the cannon dates back to the 1580s, it could have been in use in the early 17th century when more ships were up and down the Virginia and Carolina coasts.

"If it's a shipwreck, and it's an English shipwreck, it would be the earliest English shipwreck in the New World," Mather said. "If you think about what we know about American history, the fuzzy part is the part about the early exploration of America."

Mather also questions if the cannon could have even more significant historical value — possibly answering the question of what happened to the so-called Lost Colony.

The "disappearance" of 117 English colonists in the late 1580s on what is now Roanoke Island in North Carolina has baffled experts. Mather suggests the cannon possibly could have been left by the colonists — either because their ship sank or by simply falling overboard — as they fled in search of better living conditions.
Do read the rest of the article, as it has more on the Lost Colony and where the cannon might have come from.

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