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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 August 2005, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
Failed colony's relics go on show
Computer graphic of the failed Darien colony
Dr Horton first excavated the site of the colony in 1979
Artefacts discovered by the head of archaeology at Bristol University have gone on display in Panama.

The artefacts were excavated by Dr Mark Horton on the site of Scotland's Darien scheme, a failed attempt to start a colony in the New World in 1698.

Dr Horton made the discovery during the making of a BBC documentary.

"The opportunity to bring together the colonists' pipes, bottles, shoe buckles and letters they sent home, is like touching history," he said.

'Significant factor'

The Darien scheme was an attempt by an independent Scotland to create a trading post in South America ain order to capture the commerce from the East Indies.

It was promoted by William Paterson, the founder of the Bank of the England.

The failure of the colony in 1700, and the deaths of an estimated 2,500 of the original 4,000 settlers was a significant factor behind the Act of Union in 1707.

Dr Horton first started excavations at the site of the colony in 1979, but returned in 2004 with the BBC to make the award-winning documentary 'Darien, Disaster in Paradise'.

His research has thrown new light on the reasons behind the colony's failure, and the plight of the colonists.


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