South Shore wood sample identified:

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South Shore wood sample identified:

Postby RRD2 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 6:45 pm

Our sample of wood from the South Shore was received today from Alex Wiedenhoeft, Botanist with the CWAR.

The wood has been identified as "a species of Spruce, Pices sp.".

This is not surprising, as the Red Spruce, Picea rubens, is the Provincial tree of Nova Scotia and species of Spruce may be found throughout the province.

The sample was sent on 11/2; Alex identified it on 11/15, and it was received today - 12/17, to give everyone an idea of the timing. If we wish to proceed with the submission of other wood artifacts, we can expect the results in about six weeks.

Needless to say, things would have been far more interesting if this was a species found only in Europe, but overall, the opportunity to have this done for us is greatly appreciated!

With regard to this particular artifact, it is nearly impossible to determine how much was used for the test. This is a rough piece of wood anyway, but it appears that they handled it with good care and used only a very small portion for their work. I do not forsee any concerns with the shaped piece or any other sample that we wish to submit for identification.

Many thanks to everyone for their assistance in this process - especially Mad Davy Kidd for finding these folks for us!

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wood sample

Postby Vincent on Sat Dec 17, 2005 7:25 pm

RRD2.

It was very good of you to send those samples off.
It would have been nice (as you pointed out) if the sample had been a non indigenous tree, a bit disapointing but to be expected i guess.
if you intend to send off more samples to be analyized i for one have no problem at all sending a donation so you dont have to shoulder the cost of p+p alone.
this is after a serious line of enquiry and could potentialy yield some fasinating results.
Quick pass me a spade! I`ve had another idea.
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Postby RRD2 on Sat Dec 17, 2005 8:25 pm

Thanks for the offer of support, Vincent.

We may need assistance for the pottery tests in the future. Tank has been working to find a lab that will do this for us - hopefully at no charge, but there may be a fee. This project will be done through the OITS, so any future donations if needed will be to the OITS.

The fact that this went so smoothly is encouraging. I will prepare the other samples to be sent to them soon. Hopefully we will have some exciting news on the other pieces!

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Spruce

Postby Tank04 on Mon Dec 19, 2005 12:19 pm

RDII,

Good to hear you have results back on that bit of wood. Yes, it is too bad it was not identified as some exotic wood from the Carribean or the Medditeranian for example, but it does go to show that IF it is an actual period artifact, it was probably manufactured right on the spot, in situ.

Thanks for the update.
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Postby D'Arcy on Mon Dec 19, 2005 10:41 pm

RDII:

That was a certinly a quick turnaround from the people you sent the sample to. Thanks for doing it, and to MDK for steering you onto them. It's hard independent analysis like that which contributes a lot more than theoretical speculation towards the answer to the mystery. And the fact that it's local spruce should not be surprising (or dismaying) since, as Tank notes, the depositors (and early searchers) would naturally have used native wood for timbering, cribbing, etc. Which brings me to the question: Did the lab only identify the nature of the wood, or were they also asked to determine its approximate age? I presume not the latter, as Carbon-14 analysis is pretty expensive. As you know, Triton also brought up spruce (as well as oak) samples from the MP in its late 1960's/early 1970's drilling program, and some of it was carbon-dated by the Geochron lab in Boston to 1575 plus or minus 85 years, thus predating it to well before the earliest search attempts.

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Postby RRD2 on Tue Dec 20, 2005 12:21 am

This was fast, D'Arcy...

I don't know how many samples they process in any given day, but for a FREE service, we have to be pleased.

The fact that they do a good job and return our samples (their website states that they don't return them...) is very encouraging. There are a couple of other pieces that should be tested and with the door open, perhaps promising samples from others might be considered.

C-14 tests were not done, but it is possible that we might find a lab to do this for us for free or at nominal charge, as in the pottery test. I am familiar with the tests done on other O.I. wood - some of the results are available in your latest book as well.

The date of 1575 +/- 85 appears in many of the scientific papers and has always been a good clue in this mystery. Initially, this is what led me to favor the Spain / New World connection above all others. This could be incorrect, but the more solid clues that we have, the better the circumstantial case.

Even recovery of the treasure may not answer every question, so all of the preliminary discovery will ultimately help, as well as keeping the quest in progress, however informal it may be....


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Postby Bonnie on Wed Dec 21, 2005 6:11 am

Hi, i am really delighted to hear your wood has been tested so quickly and they even sent it back. send em another piece! do you have anything at all of the old rare oaks on oak island? and the photo of the item fashioned
into a square would be great too check.

keep up the good works. and thanks for sharing with us people on this oi forum.

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