Westward Ho! Roanoke, the Map, and X Marks the Spot

Westward Ho! Roanoke, the Map, and X Marks the Spot is a free symposium to be held 27-29 October 2017, on Roanoke Island, NC. The sympsium will focus on new information on Sir Walter Raleigh’s  Roanoke Island colonies & the John White-Thomas Harriot Virginea Pars Map—with all its secret symbols. The symposium is free, but registration is required. You can do that on this web page. The sympsium schedule is as follows:

DAY 1: Friday, 27 October; All Symposium presentations take place at the US Fish & Wildlife Visitor Center on the north-end of Roanoke Island

On the first day of the symposium, there are seven presentations and two panel discussions, the first one focusing on the Roanoke colonies and the second on the Virginea Pars map.

The presenters and their topics are:

Brent Lane, an economics professor with a strong interest in and knowledge of the Roanoke colonies, is currently Director of the Carolina Center for Competitive Economics at UNC-Chapel Hill. It was his probing questions that led to a scientific analysis of the Virginea Pars map. Approaching the study of the Roanoke ventures from a totally new point of view, his symposium presentation is entitled The First Tech Venture? Scientific Expertise and the Financing of the Roanoke Colony. 

Dr. Bly Straube, FSA, is an authority on artifacts found on Anglo-American sites dating to the 16th and 17th centuries. For twenty-one years she served as the Senior Archaeological Curator for the Jamestown Rediscovery Project and has published many articles on the material found in excavations of the 1607-24 James Fort. She is currently the Curator of the First Colony Foundation. Her symposium topic is Everything but the Kitchen Sink: Packing for the New World

Dr. Gabriel de Avilez Rocha, Assistant Professor of History at Drexel University has focused his interest on the Atlantic World and Colonial Studies. His recent research has led to new information about Governor John White’s nemesis, the irascible ship’s pilot Master Simon Fernandez. Dr. Rocha’s topic for the symposium is Rethinking the Black Legend of ‘Simon Fernandez’: New Perspectives from the Iberian Atlantic.

Dr. Guy Prentice is Program Manager of the Region-wide Archaeological Survey Program at the National Park Service’s South Eastern Archaeological Center where he has spent his career involved with archeological investigations in the Southeast ranging from 10,000 year old rock-shelters to the Civil War prison at Andersonville, Georgia, and many sites between. His topic for the symposium is Castaways: Recognizing Lost Sixteenth Century Europeans on America’s Atlantic Shores.

Peter Barber, OBE, now retired, is the former head of the British Library’s Map Collection and a renowned scholar of Tudor cartography. He is the author of two books, The Map Book and Magnificent Maps, which found broad audiences. His symposium topic is John White’s Maps and Tudor Cartography. 

Dr. Kim Sloan, Curator of pre-1880 British Drawings and Watercolors at the British Museum, spearheaded the scientific analysis of the Virginea Pars map, revealing hidden symbols and images. She also mounted the most recent American tour of John White’s drawings in 2007 and authored the latest scholarly book on the gentleman-artist, A New World, England’s First View of America. Her symposium presentation is Paper Patches: An Analysis of La Virginea Pars map in the British Museum.

Dr. Eric Klingelhofer, Research Fellow and Emeritus Professor of History at Mercer University, is an expert in medieval archaeology and proto-colonial archaeology. His archival research, archaeological investigations and publications have been and are prolific—numerous quests in Ireland, the Caribbean, Europe and North America. He is also a Vice President of Research for First Colony Foundation.  His symposium topic is Images and Absences: Interpreting John White’s Picture-Maps.

MAP PANEL Q/A DISCUSSION—Klingelhofer, Sloan, Barber


Day 2: Saturday, 28 October; All Symposium presentations take place at the US Fish & Wildlife Visitor Center on the north-end of Roanoke Island

On the second day of the symposium, there are six presentations and one panel discussion, all of which focus on the 1587 lost colony.

The presenters and their topics are:

Nicholas M.  Luccketti specializes in early colonial archaeology in the Chesapeake area. He is the principal investigator/archaeologist and President of the James River Institute for Archaeology, and also a Vice President of Research with First Colony Foundation. His symposium topic is Site X: The Prima Facie Evidence.

Edward Clay Swindell is the recognized expert on the subject of Carolina Algonkians. Currently, he is Collections Specialist/Assistant Curator at the Museum of the Albemarle. His symposium topic is The Pots John White Painted: Redefining Colington Series Pottery.

Dr. Randolph Turner, former Senior Prehistoric Archaeologist for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, is an authority on Native Americans of the Chesapeake and the co-author of Before and After Jamestown: Virginia’s Powhatans and Their Predecessors. His symposium topic is Searching for Skicoak: Historical and Archaeological Evidence for the Chesepians, 1584-1586.

Dr. Karen Kupperman, an expert in the study of relations between Native Americans and early British colonials in the early Modern Atlantic World, is Julius Silver Professor Emerita of History at New York University. Her symposium topic is Native Knowledge in the Work of Thomas Harriot and John White.

Dr. James Horn, one of the leading historians in the study of the American colonies, is currently President and Chief Officer of the Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation at Historic Jamestown. His latest publication, A Kingdom Strange, focuses on the Roanoke Island settlements. For the symposium, his topic is Into the Maine”: Why They Went West.

Phillip W. Evans, currently an attorney, is a 17-year veteran of the National Park Service, having served as historian at Fort Raleigh for most of that time.  In that capacity he knew and worked with the premiere Roanoke Voyages historians and archaeologists in the world. He is one of the leading historians in the field and is President of First Colony Foundation. His topic for the symposium is Lost Colony Fables and Fakes.

Round-Table Discussion—Evans, Horn, Kupperman, Turner, Swindell, Luccketti

There will be optional activities on those days and on Sunday, 29 October. Specific schedule for these activities will be available at the symposium.

  • WALKING TOURS of an active archaeological dig in Fort Raleigh’s historic zone; FREE
  • BOAT TOURS of Roanoke Island’s eastern shore, originating in Manteo; [fee charged]
  • AIR TOURS from the County Airport to Site X; [fee charged]
  • COSTUME EXHIBITS at the Dare County Arts Council in Manteo & US Fish & Wildlife Visitor Center; FREE
  • ARTIFACTS EXHIBITS at the Dare Count Arts Council in Manteo; FREE
  • 16TH-CENTURY REPRODUCTIONS EXHIBIT at the Dare County Arts Council in Manteo. FREE

For additional information, please contact the First Colony Foundation. Their email address is info@firstcolonyfoundation.org. Their web site is https://www.firstcolonyfoundation.org/


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