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The Curse of Oak Island: Where is archaeologist Dr. Aaron Taylor?

Aaron Taylor on Oak Island
Dr. Aaron Taylor was a regular member of the Oak Island team during Season 8. Pic credit: History

Longtime fans of The Curse of Oak Island will have noticed that the archaeologists seem to be becoming more and more prominent and significant on the show each season.

Previously Rick and Marty Lagina had scoffed a bit at the slow, methodical approach of the archaeologists that found themselves on the island. However, it was their work excavating the mysterious stone roadway that really brought the brothers around to appreciating the archaeologists’ work.

And a lot of that was down to Dr. Aaron Taylor, who took control of the dig on the stone roadway with the help of Miriam Amirault, whom he brought along to the show. Longtime show archaeologist Laird Niven seemed to take a back seat last season, which led some to wonder if he had been sidelined.

However, Laird has been a constant and very visible presence in the first two episodes of Season 9 and is clearly, once again, a big part player this year. And Miriam is once again back at the roadway, but her boss, Aaron, is nowhere to be seen. Leaving some fans to wonder, what happened to Dr. Aaron Taylor?

Therefore, we have decided to look at possible reasons as to why Aaron has not yet been featured on Season 9 of The Curse of Oak Island.

Laird is the Oak island chief archaeologist so who needs Aaron Taylor?

This year has seen new regulations enacted by Nova Scotia’s Department Of Communities, Culture, and Heritage (DCCH), which say that a professional archaeologist needs to give their approval to the vast majority of work done on the island.

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Basically, any excavating done outside the Money Pit area needs approval; even Gary Drayton can’t do any metal detecting without getting the OK.

It seems that Laird is qualified for that job, so he’s been given that position. It’s unclear if Aaron would have been able to do the job, but as a professional archaeologist, he more than likely could have done so.

Perhaps the Laginas decided to give the gig to their longtime colleague, Laird, and as he now has to be present in all aspects of the work, then they may have thought Aaron services just weren’t required.

Perhaps Dr. Aaron Taylor has no time for The Curse of Oak Island

Another reason why Aaron might not have appeared on the show is he could just have too many commitments.

In an interview, last May on the Could It Be Oak Island Podcast, shortly after the end of Season 8, Aaron spoke fondly about his time on Oak Island. But he echoed the voices of many other cast members when he said that being on the island was really hard work.

He did, however, speak of the rewarding nature of the work and said the stone roadway was “one of the highlights of [his] career.” Despite, this it’s very possible that work commitments just piled up too high for the archaeologist, and he might not have had the time or the ability to commit to the show.

Aaron is on the payroll at no less than two Nova Scotia universities, Arcadia University and St. Mary’s University, where he engages in both research and teaching. The fluent Spanish speaker has also worked on archaeological digs in Cuba.

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Aaron’s colleague, Dr. Ian Spooner, had previously spoken to the same podcast about the hard work involved with Oak Island. He lamented that as a teaching academic, he would spend the winter months teaching students and working on various projects only to then find himself working up to 12 hours a day during the summer months on Oak Island.

It’s therefore understandable that Aaron might have wanted to take a step back.

Of course, he might not have appeared on the show thanks to a combination of the two above factors. Or maybe it’s something else. Perhaps he was struck by illness, or the History Channel decided he was not needed. Unfortunately, the show does not generally hand out cast updates.

Either way, all is not lost for fans of Dr. Aaron Taylor, as there are still over 20 episodes of Season 9 left to go, so fingers crossed, we might still see his dry wit and calm expertise on the island this year.

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

Jerry specializes in writing about true crime, the Royal family, The...read more

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