The Curse of Oak Island: Season 9 has a new theory about the origins of the stone roadway

Historian Terry Deveau explains his theory to the Oak Island team
Historian Terry Deveau (second from right) explains his theory to the Oak Island team. Pic credit: History

The Curse of Oak Island returned to our screens with Season 9 on Tuesday night, and with that came a brand new theory about the mysterious stone roadway that the team spent much of last year uncovering.

Much of last night’s show focused on the exciting discovery of gold in the water beneath the Money Pit area. And much of the next few weeks will be spent by the guys trying to bring that gold to the surface. However, they have not forgotten about the swamp and the stone roadway.

The stone roadway was a cobbled path unearthed in the swamp at the beginning of Season 8. The current theory stipulates that it was connected to a wharf in the swamp and then led out towards the uplands and possibly stopped at the Money Pit. Basically, the guys think treasure was unloaded at the wharf and then transported to the Money Pit.

Who built it and when? We don’t know. The guys reckon its construction was a large operation, so they’ve ruled out local fishers. Archaeologist Aaron Taylor said in an interview last spring that he suspected it was the British, and given the amount of Brit-made objects found in the area, that would seem like a decent guess.

Even Marty is coming to believe the swamp and the roadway are important. He said that while he doesn’t quite share Rick’s opinion that they are key to the island’s secrets, he does suspect they are a vital component.

Theory that Portuguese built Oak Island stone roadway 500 years ago

With that in mind, the guys met up in the War Room with professional historian Terry Deveau, and he has a new theory. He thinks the Portuguese might have built the roadway in the 1500s. He says the roadway is similar to the type that was being built in Portugal at that time.

But Deveau had more info for the guys, much more. He’s spent the last few months looking at the coastline and the stone features running adjacent to the swamp, and he says that boulders buried offshore line up perfectly with the stone roadway. He says this indicates the road may have continued into a stone dock.

Stone roadway image on Oak Island
Historian Terry Deveau says roadway lines with offshore boulders. Pic credit: History

Deveau had even more. He managed to find an old photo from the 1930s which showed an aerial shot of the Money Pit area.

And would you believe it? It does appear to show a stone roadway.

This would seem to confirm the guys’ initial theory for the use of the road. But could it really be from the 1500s and built by the Portuguese?

Stone path at the Money Pit
A 1930s photo shows a stone path at the Money Pit. Pic credit: History

Who is chief archaeologist on Oak Island?

Last year, the archaeological excavations on the roadway were headed by Dr. Aaron Taylor and Miriam Amirault, and so far, it’s not clear if the Laginas will continue to put their faith in the pair. Miriam featured in last night’s show, joking that she had brought a trowel for Rick, but otherwise, the two were not visible.

We’ll be seeing a lot more of old Oak Island stalwart archaeologist Laird Niven this year, thanks in large part to new regulations laid out by Nova Scotia’s Department Of Communities, Culture, and Heritage (DCCH). This is a tad ironic as there were fears last season that the series regular had been sidelined.

The DCCH has declared that any archaeological work done on most parts of the island has to be supervised; luckily, Laird is qualified to be that supervisor. Even metal detector expert Gary Drayton now has to get Laird’s permission to do any metal detecting.

Laird’s big cheesy grin suggested that he’s not exactly upset about this prospect. As viewers, we should welcome his cool, calm professionalism, practicality, and realism.

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

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