|About the Project
Virtual Norumbega is an archive of materials on the history and archaeology of early New England. It includes archaeological data that has not been published elsewhere.Most of the archive consists of my own research, and documents that I have transcribed from documentary sources. I hope that the site can serve as a focal point for students and scholars of the region. I encourage scholars to contribute their research to the site. - Emerson W. Baker
Virtual Norumbega's Logo
|The site's logo is a tracing of the
Map of the Province of Mayne, ca. 1653, courtesy of the Baxter
Rare Maps Collection, Maine
State Archives. The original of the tracing is in the British
The meaning of the word Norumbega are unknown and probably lost to time. Some scholars believe it is a Native place name, and several meanings have been suggested. Regardless of the meaning, Norumbega was a place name used by European explorers in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries. In some cases, it referred to a fabled Native city of wealth sought by explorers, somewhat akin to the mythical Eldorado. At other times, the word was used more generally, to refer to present day New England - particularly northern New England. Once Captain John Smith coined the term "New England" Norumbega soon fell out of usage. For more information on Norumbega, see Emerson Baker et al eds, American Begininngs: Exploration, Culture and Cartography in the Land of Norumbega (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1995).