Two Worlds: Prehistory, Contact, and the Lost Colony (to 1600)

The first part of this resource explores the natural and human history of the state from the dawn of geologic time to approximately 1600 CE.

With the arrival of European explorers in the 1500s, two worlds collided in North Carolina. Peoples that had lived here for thousands of years — in a land that had existed for millions — were changed forever, and the stage was set for a new era that would link the peoples and cultures of Europe, Africa, and the Americas.

Designed for secondary students, this first module of our web-based resource combines primary sources with articles from a variety of perspectives, maps, photographs, and multimedia to tell the many stories of early North Carolina:

  • the geology, geography, ecology, and natural history of North Carolina
  • the ways of life of native North Carolinians, from their arrival more than 9000 years ago to their first contact with Europeans
  • early European exploration of the Americas and Spanish efforts to plant a colony in North Carolina
  • England and the “Lost Colony” of Roanoke
  • the effects of the “Columbian Exchange” of biology and culture between Europe, Africa, and the Americas

Chapter Contents