Passengers, who did have a successful voyage to America, settled along the Delmarva Peninsula. Their colonial home sites now provide evidence of what life was like in those early years. By examining these sites we can gain a better appreciation of the struggles and hardships that our forefathers faced, as well as our technological advances.
By the early seventeenth century as many as half a million Native Americans lived along the Eastern Seaboard. For the first European settlers, they were a source of invaluable information and also a threat. The first English colony in the Americas, founded on Roanoke Island off the coast of North Carolina shore in 1585, was abandoned, resettled two years later, and mysteriously deserted again. In 1602, 18 years before the Pilgrims landed on Cape Cod, the first English attempt to colonize the area we now call New England failed.
In time, of course, the Atlantic Coast was colonized, followed by the slow settlement of the continent's interior. The Delmarva Coast had many colonial home sites due to the great ports that had sprung up along the Delaware and Chesapeake Bays. As they became established, the colonist developed ways of life that owed much to their European Heritage and just as much to their challenges and possibilities that they found in North America.
Archaeology is an important part of our lives. Archaeological digs help us to better understand our past. By understanding we can better cope with the present and by teaching about the past, we can open doors to the future. Dig sites as well as shipwrecks are like time capsules. They are sealed hundreds of years ago with those artifacts frozen in a moment of time. They represent a cross section of a different culture at a different time in history. When excavated they reveal their secrets and stories that their artifacts have been waiting to tell.