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The Curse of Oak Island preview: The ‘big dig’ excavation is closing in on the Chappell Vault

Marty Lagina at the Money Pit
Marty Lagina is desperate to see some treasure uncovered at the Oak Island Money Pit. Pic credit: History

The Curse of Oak Island is back tonight, and as digging continues at the Money Pit, the team is becoming increasingly convinced that they are closing in on the Chappell Vault.

On this episode, the guys’ primary focus is on finding the legendary Chappell Vault and the untold treasures within. After finding a whole lot of nothing in the previously named TF1 shaft, the team’s optimism is once again building for the EC1 shaft, and perhaps rightly so, as they’re starting to pull out a lot more wooden beams.

There is also the promise of a new artifact that dates back to the 13th century, although, so far, it’s unclear exactly what the piece is.

Oak Island team hopes hammer grab will hit the Chappell Vault

The previews were relatively scant on solid information, but one thing that was in abundance was optimism. “Every hammer grab is a chance,” said Rick Lagina, suggesting that every time they send the hammer grab down the ten-foot-wide shaft, there’s a chance it could pull up some treasure or even a whole vault.

There is often frustration with the wood artifacts, but the guys know that they must first find wood to find the treasure, as wood equals tunnels and secret chambers where the treasure will be hidden.

The History Channel episode descriptor reads:

“Hot on the trail of the legendary Chappell Vault, the team gleans thrilling new information from the most notorious treasure hunting operation in the history of Oak Island.”

This week’s episode is named Playing the Dunfield, which suggests the “notorious treasure hunting operation” referred to in the description is Robert Dunfield’s failed attempt to locate the treasure in 1965. Dunfield dug a massive hole 100 feet wide and about 140 feet deep, but unfortunately, all he found was a big pile of dirt.

The Dunfield excavation was controversial because it was considered the first time heavy equipment was used on such a large scale. Previous excavations mainly had been done using handheld tools.

At this time, the causeway bridging the mainland to the island was constructed, allowing the guys to bring in heavy equipment to this day.

Hammer grab on Oak Island
The Oak Island team hopes the hammer grab breaks through to the Chappell Vault. Pic credit: History

Another ancient artifact is found on Oak Island

Also, on tonight’s show, Joe Landry, an expert on medieval bookbinding, makes a very welcome return. The guys have brought him a new artifact, presumably a piece of leather, and Joe reckons it’s from about 1235, which is shockingly old for Oak Island.

It’s not clear where this artifact was located, but in the preview, we see Rick Lagina and Gary Drayton recover an item from the EC1 spoils that could be leather.

The Curse of Oak Island airs Tuesdays at 9/8c on History.

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