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Science. 1998 Apr 24;280(5363):564-7.

The Lost Colony and Jamestown droughts.

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Tree-Ring Laboratory, Department of Geography, University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR 72701, USA.


Tree-ring data from Virginia indicate that the Lost Colony of Roanoke Island disappeared during the most extreme drought in 800 years (1587-1589) and that the alarming mortality and the near abandonment of Jamestown Colony occurred during the driest 7-year episode in 770 years (1606-1612). These extraordinary droughts can now be implicated in the fate of the Lost Colony and in the appalling death rate during the early occupations at Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in America.

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