Sunday, September 19, 2010

Snaphaunce Gunlock Found on Hatteras by Dr. Phelps in 1997/8

Permission of Phelps Archaeology Laboratory, East Carolina University
What do you do?

This past summer, I have worked with a really fine group of people who actually are friends with one another and do some damned fine research... together, as a group. They include REAL professionals, an Archaeology PhD candidate, an expert on Indian migration and DNA studies, a Maritime History MA candidate (myself), many specialists in many different fields, including a mayor from Bidford, England!  I'm new to graduate research and should be forgiven for the shock I expressed maybe.

During my own research, I have casually sought other experts to help me understand the significance of certain finds, namely a gunlock that may date to the late 16th century (which would be highly significant!) and the Kendall ring (an artifact that may relate to one member of the Roanoke voyages, can be viewed here: ).  These items were found by the late Dr. David S. Phelps, Professor Emeritus at East Carolina University.  An ECU report on this archaeological site is available at http:///  I have made the legitimate resources available to all for the sake of unbiased opinions.  

One point that I feel is necessary to make and that is that my research and my friends' research is in no way connected to ECU.  We all ask questions of experts, some of them happen to be at that university... but, still, this is a group project that makes no such claims to any eminent institution.

BTW: Shameless plug - WRAL TV interview with two of our guys Monday night, interviewed by Sloan Mason at 5:55 pm, if I remember correctly. If you miss it, you can catch it later on their website.

Not much has been done on this "Croatan" (spelled "Croatoan" by the Indians) archaeological site lately.  Part of it has been due to Dr. Phelps passing.  It may also be due to problems similar to one that I have encountered lately.  Someone has been "poisoning the well" so to speak.  

I wrote an email to a snaphaunce expert in England just for an opinion on the gunlock (open for view at ECU Special Collections)... I got the sudden response that he had already given his opinion on this artifact and he insinuated that I was "butting in" on another man's research!  Well, this was definitely unexpected and strange.  The guy was only defending someone else, I know.  But... geesh!  I mean, Phelps was no longer around but the site was still under the direction of ECU and they didn't seem to mind.  In fact, the Archaeology department has been very helpful as you might expect them to be.  If this artifact had already been analyzed, I would love to hear about the analysis.  I'd love to know who it was that did it.  He referred me to the "site director."  Well?  This English expert mentioned a name that has nothing to do with the archaeology department at ECU and he said that he was the "site director" of the "Lost Colony site."  Well, I would not have wanted to butt in on anyone's "territory," but this particular person was NOT the director of that site nor has he ever been!   I was astounded!  "What did I do to him?" was the question that went through my mind repeatedly.  For some reason, he believed that I was asking him his opinion to undermine someone else.  Who gave him that idea? 

Anyway, I directed him to the proper authorities and all is well.  Honest, forthright research means cooperation... everyone working together to accomplish the goal.  "Poisoning water" does not help.  If one wishes to make great discoveries, then one must be willing to cooperate on such multidisciplinary endeavors and share the credit, not spoiling the resources for everyone else.  I welcome any cooperative efforts to further this very important end.  Tell me, why do I feel like my Dad?

The link to FtDNA Lost Colony project is located at .  This is the legitimate site and you will NEVER be charged by anyone from the group... only by FtDNA, if you decide to have the test performed.  It would be great to know if you connect to the Native Americans involved here... especially to the Lost Colony!  But, that's why some illegitimate ruses work.  So, don't listen to us or any other website... go straight to FtDNA if you're interested.  In fact, don't use the link I gave you... Google it and get there that way.  With the internet, you have to be careful to drink from the right waterholes. Cooperation, folks!  That's how we get answers. 

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