First Colony Foundation Using Archaeology and Historical Research to Find Sir Walter Raleigh's Roanoke Island Colonies
In Search of the First Colony

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Contents
The Earthwork
Ditch
Ditch Corner
Ditch Prism
Ditch Wedge
Wall
Wall Corner
Wall Prism
Wall Wedge
Results
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The volume of dirt removed from the ditch was 10382 to 12669 cubic feet. The volume of dirt used in the wall was 9264 to 11786 cubic feet. Therefore, the reconstructed fort is missing 883 to 1118 cubic feet. An average would be about 1000 cubic feet. A small dump truck holds 3-4 cubic yards, or an average of 84.5 cubic feet. That means we are missing almost twelve dump truck loads! It also means that the archaeologists will need to reconsider the fort's reconstruction, where the missing ditch soil was deposited, and how it was removed since then.

By using a knowledge of geometry and algebra to analyze the data collected from Fort Raleigh, we come to question our ideas about how the fort was designed, built, and then reconstructed. This leads us to look to new ways of interpreting its archaeology. One of the ways is the plan to make a schematic representation of the fortification as built in the 1580s. In the future, missing details will be added to create possible alternate virtual Fort Raleighs. We may still not have solved the mystery of the Lost Colony, but we have added to our understanding of the long-remembered traces of Old Fort Raleigh that Elizabethan colonists left behind over four centuries ago.

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