The Lost City: where did the Scottish colony disappear

Stuarts Town is an initiative of the Caroline Company founded to protect the American colonies freed from English trade restrictions, and to stimulate the struggling Scottish economy.

Archaeologists are one step closer to unraveling the mystery of the missing 17th-century Scottish settlement of Stuarts Town in Port Royal, South Carolina, USA, according to Heritage Daily .

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During a reconnaissance trip to South Carolina in 1682, a site was chosen in Port Royal, which was settled in 1684, sandwiched between the English colony of Charlestown and the Spanish colonizers of North Florida.

Stuarts Town was also to serve as a refuge for Presbyterians who were being religiously persecuted in Scotland through the new restrictive liturgy introduced by Charles II.

In 1686, Spanish cavaliers attacked the colony, killing all the livestock and burning all the buildings to the ground. With Stuarts Town abandoned, the Carolinas were unable to attract new funding from investors, and their initiative in the New World was doomed.

The exact location of Stuarts Town has since been lost, the generally accepted theory previously pointing to the Spanish Point, a piece of land flowing into the Beaufort River about 5 km north of Port Royal Sound.

However, archaeologists from the University of South Carolina (USC) believe that the city is located further north, where the center of modern Beaufort is located.

This is based in part on an 18th-century land deed, which investigators say is misinterpreted as pointing to Beaufort and not Spanish Point.

Excavations by the USC team at 11 sites in Beaufort unearthed pottery fragments, probably from the 17th century.

While no evidence of structures has yet been found, the ceramic finds suggest the team is one step closer to finding the Stuart town in Beaufort, especially since no comparable evidence has been found at Spanish Point.

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