Skeptics question existence of Henry Towne





WILLIAMSBURG -- A skeptical group of archaeologists and historians will meet here Monday with an embattled Army archaeologist who recently identified a site near Cape Henry in Virginia Beach as a previously unknown early Colonial settlement called Henry Towne.

Made up of prominent figures based in the Williamsburg area, the group believes that the documentary evidence on which the identification is partly based actually refers to a Richmond-area settlement known as Henricus.

They also have questions about the date of a group of artifacts originally recovered at the Lynnhaven River site in the 1950s.

"I'd never heard of any settlement in that area dating to 1610 and - just in case I missed it - I began asking around. No one else had heard of it, either," said archaeologist Nicholas Luccketti, head of the James River Institute for Archaeology and a co-discoverer of Jamestown.

"Everyone agrees that the reference we've seen is to Henricus. So unless he's got something that none of us has ever seen, his documents do not refer to someplace that is now in Virginia Beach."


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