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Lost Cities and Vanished Civilizations – in North America!

Posted by Mike on March 20, 2008

In my previous post, I mentioned the book Lost Cities and Vanished Civilizations. I don’t recall what civilizations he wrote about, but I don’t remember any in what is now the United States.

Can you think of some lost cities and vanished civilizations in North America? I’m sure something having to do with Indians comes to mind. But what came to my mind first was the “lost” colony on Roanoke Island off the coast of what would become North Carolina.

The word “CROATOAN” carved into a tree seemed to be the last sign of the group of 115 men, women, and children, a group that seemed to vanish without a trace.

What happened to them? They could have been the first permanent settlement in the future United States, beating Jamestown by 20 years.

Lee Miller explores what might have happened in her book Roanoke : solving the mystery of England’s lost colony. She gathers some evidence and draws some conclusions. Some of the evidence is tenuous, and some of the conclusions are stretched in their details, but I think she gives a good general idea of what probably happened. They didn’t all die at once by disease or starvation. They weren’t swept out to sea by a hurricane. Many web sites give some ideas about this mystery, but Miller’s book is fun and interesting reading.

Before reading it, I didn’t realize that Sir Walter Raleigh was involved, or Elizabeth I, either. Politics, personal ambition, the English, the Spanish, and of course, the weather are all involved. Read more about it!


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