Beaubassin continues to unearth history

Darrell Cole
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FORT LAWRENCE - Just a week after the latest archaeological dig has begun, Beaubassin continues to give up prizes.

Archaeologists and members of the public have unearthed stoneworks that may be part of a stone wall or foundation to a building that was part of the historic Acadian village abandoned in 1750 to keep it from falling into English hands.

"We're very impressed with what we're finding," Parks Canada archaelogist Charles Burke said Thursday as the excavation continued. "The first week of the dig was excellent. We didn't have as big a crowd as we thought we would have, but the weather was pretty bad as well. The ones who have come have been very dedicated."

This is the third year for the Beaubassin and Fort Lawrence Public Archaelogy Experience. Burke said up to 50 people a day are dropping by the site to watch work continue.

Burke is thrilled with the latest find, adding it has been covered from the elements for future study. As well, the dig has unearthed a few unique artifacts.

"We found a few rather unique looking pewter buttons and a glass brooch. We're not sure of the era, but we'll figure it out," Burke said. "There's no shortage of things to find. We're continuing to find things we found in other years."

Although there's a fee to participate in the dig, Burke said, people are coming from across the Maritimes to take part. He said at least three people told him that taking part in the project was part of a bucket list while others are participating to follow in the footsteps of their ancestors.

"We've had people from Halifax and Bridgewater and from Miramichi and Saint John," he said. "I always ask people at the start of the day why they are here. We had one person whose family lived on the site. The most common answer is they've always had an interest in archaeology."

Located on the Isthmus of Chignecto, Beaubassin was a key Acadian village and trading centre between 1655 and the mid-1700s. After it was burned, the Acadian population moved across to Fort Beausejour, from where many were expelled in 1755.

The dig continues Thursday to Sunday until Aug. 16. To participate, call Fort Beausejour-Fort Cumberland National Historic Site of Canada at 506-364-5080.

Organizations: Parks Canada

Geographic location: Halifax, Bridgewater, Miramichi Saint John Canada

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