Engraved rock could unlock America’s oldest mystery

While some experts are still skeptical about the stone’s authenticity a comprehensive study of the artifact is being planned in the near future

Scientists are planning to take a fresh look at an engraved rock purported to hold the key to the mysterious “lost colony” of Roanoke.

Described as “the coldest case in American history,” the fate of more than 100 English settlers of the 16th century on Roanoke Island, NC, has long baffled historians. The settlers’ disappearance has been shrouded in mystery for centuries.

The settlers, who included women and children, arrived on Roanoke Island in 1587 to help establish America’s first English settlement. By 1590, however, the group was nowhere to be found, fueling ongoing speculation about their mysterious disappearance.

The only clues left behind by the settlers were the words “Croatoan” and “Cro” carved into a fort’s gatepost and a tree nearby. This sparked a theory that the settlers fled 50 miles south to Hatteras Island, which was then known as Croatoan Island.

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