This week on The Curse of Oak Island, the team detected more gold at the garden shaft, dug up an ancient well, and dated an old oak tree. All of this seemed to add more and more intrigue to the 227-year-old mystery.
By far, the most exciting thing on last night’s episode was the discovery of more gold in the side-paneling of the garden shaft. Last week, the team sampled a piece of wood at 55 feet and found it contained about 0.11% worth of gold.
This week, the guys took another piece from a depth of 58 feet on the opposite side of the shaft. Archaeologist Emma Culligan put the piece into an XRF (X-Ray Fluorescence) machine, where she bombarded the artifact with gamma rays to ascertain its composition.
And Emma was thrilled to inform the Fellowship that this piece had an even higher content of gold.
The archaeologist didn’t specify the exact content, but she was eager to point out that it showed the gold levels were increasing as they drilled deeper. Marty Lagina stated, “there’s a highly unusual source of gold here.” The guys really cannot wait to get to the bottom of that garden shaft.
Elsewhere on last night’s show, the team continued to expand their area of operations, always looking for the next possible key to the Oak Island mystery.
Oak Island team found a second ancient well
The team drafted in Billy Gerhardt and his digger to excavate an old well on Lot 11 on the north side of the swamp. Oak Island landowner owner Tom Nolan recalled that in the 1970s, he and his dad, Fred Nolan, found an old well with lots of pottery in the bottom. At the time, the two Nolans had refilled the well.
Rick Lagina and the guys decided to dig it up to take a look. The team has become very interested in wells ever since Ian Spooner discovered a high concentration of silver in a small well on Lot 26. Ian also learned that the well could date back to the 11th century.
Billy managed to locate Nolan’s well without too much trouble, and Rick instantly noted that it was of an identical design and construction to the Lot 26 well. There are multiple watering holes on the island, but these two are so similar that the guys think there must be a connection.
There did find a little bit of pottery, but not much, and, unfortunately, any more digging would require permits, so they called a halt to that operation. For now.
At the same time, the guys have also been working on an intricate stone wall near the well on Lot 26. The wall has an oak tree growing out of it, so they concluded that if they could date the tree, they would have a minimum age for the wall.
To that end, forestry expert Peter Romkey took a core sample from the tree so he could count the rings. Last night, Peter informed the guys the tree was at least 240 years old but that they could probably add another 20 years onto that figure. The center of the tree was rotten, meaning he was unable to count all the rings.
That placed the tree and, therefore, the wall as being older than the initial discovery of the Money Pit in 1795.
In the meantime, Laird Niven uncovered a piece of charcoal from underneath the wall. This is an organic material that gives the guys another opportunity to pinpoint the date of the wall.
Carmen Legge returned to Oak Island with expert advise
Blacksmith expert and Oak Island regular Carmen Legge made another appearance last night to impart some of his wisdom. He examined an old hook discovered by Gary Drayton in the spoils dug out of the well on Lot 11.
As usual, Carmen had intriguing news; he claimed the hook was used to winch heavy cargo. He insisted that it was not used for lifting buckets of water but was clearly for something heavier. Everyone is hoping it was treasure!
Carmen also dated the artifact to between 1650 and 1690, way way before the Money Pit discovery.
The Curse of Oak Island airs at 9/8c on History.
Are you going to go back to the lost Dutchman mine. The devil is in the details.
Looking forward to the next episode!