There was major excitement on this week’s The Curse of Oak Island when the team learned about the discovery of an ancient Roman coin thought to date between 300 BC and 600 AD.
Last night’s episode was full of lots of new information that will cause the guys to think again. At the Money Pit, the borehole drilling team went in search of a tunnel but was left flummoxed when they found a new shaft instead.
But perhaps the most significant discovery from last night centered around a tiny artifact from Gary Drayton’s top pocket.
Alex Lagina and Jack Begley invited coin expert numismatist Sandy Campbell into the Interpretative Center to take a look at the half coin Gary discovered last week on Lot 5. And in the calmest soberest possible manner, he delivered some earth-shattering news.
After looking at the data regarding the chemical composition and examining the coin up close, Sandy ruled that it came from ancient Rome. He suggested it was either Roman or Byzantium, which was the successor empire to the Romans based at Constantinople.
Sandy dated it as somewhere between 300 BC and 600 AD, but he leaned more toward a Roman origin rather than the later Byzantium era.
What is a Roman coin doing on Oak Island?
A somewhat dazed-looking Rick Lagina demanded to know what made him think that! Sandy assured him, “the design is definitely Roman.” He pointed to the image of a tree and a person and insisted they were Roman designs.
The next question was, what on earth is it doing on Oak Island? This was something Sandy was unable to answer and something that will need further investigation.
As we’ve come to expect, narrator Robert Clotworthy began making some wild connections, suggesting the coin may be related to the Roman road visited in Portugal last season and the swamp’s stone road.
It’s possible he’s correct, but the guys will need to do a lot more proper investigation.
A tunnel turns into a shaft at the Oak Island Money Pit
Meanwhile, at the Money Pit, the drill team was attempting to chase a tunnel they happened upon a few weeks ago near the garden shaft. This tunnel had been encountered at a shallow 70 feet leading the guys to speculate it may lead to an offset chamber.
The guys decided a new borehole was needed to see where the tunnel led. However, Terry Matheson and Charles Barkhouse were pretty shocked when at a mere 39 feet, they hit a lot of wood. They quickly realized that this was the supposed tunnel they were searching for and that it was actually a brand-new shaft.
This came as a big surprise as they don’t have any historical data stating there’s a shaft at this location, and it is definitely going to need further investigation.
The recovered wood beams looked to be cut using a pit saw, suggesting they were cut before the industrial age, perhaps around the 15th century. Craig Tester, noting the rings, suggested the wood be sent for dendrochronology dating.
The guys are hoping that the garden shaft project will soon get the go-ahead to continue. Once that shaft is stabilized, the Dumas Mining company will be able to burrow 20 feet toward this shaft, so it can be properly investigated.
The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.