Who is archaeologist Laird Niven on The Curse of Oak Island?

Laird Niven
Laird Niven, who has been involved in many high-profile digs, on The Curse of Oak Island

The latest episode of The Curse of Oak Island sees archaeologist Laird Niven return to the show as the team continue their treasure-hunting exploits.

Niven previously featured on the series back in Season 4, including when he was called upon in Episode 2 to examine the mysterious “hatch” that was found.

Laird is one of Nova Scotia’s leading archaeologists and has been involved in a string of interesting digs over the years, appearing in the news several times in the past when projects he’s been working on have unearthed something of note.

Back in 2011 he was involved in a dig in Halifax where he and his team were investigating the early origins of the city and in particular Bellevue House, which was built in 1801 for the commander of British regiments stationed there.

The team at the time said they were pretty sure nearly every member of the British royal family who previously spent time in Halifax would have visited the house, including the likes of Edward VII visiting in 1860 when he was still Prince of Wales and the future George V staying when he was commander of a warship.

Here Niven is talking about finds from another dig he was involved with in the city’s Argyle Street:


Niven — who judging by the caps he always wears on The Curse of Oak Island is a fan of the British soccer team Newcastle United — has also worked on various other sites across Canada and is based out of Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, where he also studied at university.

Archaeology work is generally carried out very slowly with everything documented extremely precisely. Many digs involve teams working on their hands and knees with small tools as they get close to the layer they are interested in.

This contrasts with much of the work being done on The Curse of Oak Island where heavy industrial equipment is being used to shift tonnes of spoil.

However, because of the large amount of previous excavation work on the island the more careful approach is perhaps not as relevant.

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

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