"Arming the Roanoke Colony": Illustrating Bellicosity through Archival and Archaeological Findings

Author(s): Erwin Walker Lane; Brent Lane

Year: 2015


Sir Walter Ralegh’s attempted English colony in coastal North Carolina is best known for thefailure of its 1587 "Lost Colony". But that colony was preceded by a 1585-86 exploratorysettlement that accomplished much of its mission to explore and describe the region’s lands, flora, fauna and peoples. Officially peaceful, this "First Colony" nonetheless engaged in military actions with indigenous peoples. Although direct archaeological evidence of its military capability is scant, a recently discovered 1585 manuscript details its weaponry and military personnel plans. Combining this information with archaeological findings of armament fromEuropean contact era sites illustrates the dichotomy between the Roanoke Colony’s stated peaceful intentions and its bellicose capabilities. 

Cite this Record

"Arming the Roanoke Colony": Illustrating Bellicosity through Archival and Archaeological Findings. Erwin Walker Lane, Brent Lane. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 434161)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


military strategy Weaponry

Geographic Keywords
Canada North America

Temporal Keywords
contact period, 1584-1607

Spatial Coverage

min long: -141.003; min lat: 41.684 ; max long: -52.617; max lat: 83.113 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 608