Smith's Cove

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Postby Mad Davy Kidd on Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:10 am

RDII,

While I haven't been posting much lately I have been reading and examining your recent postings with great interest. It is great to see new material making it's way into the forum for all to see.

While this question may be answered in one of the many books, I can't recall the outcome of investigations at Smith's Cove - much has been unearthed there, does much of it remain in place, recovered over or was a great deal of it disturbed and/or removed?

For example, the U-shaped log structure, the box drains etc.

I know from my visit that there are still some partially submerged logs poking out of the ground in Smith's Cove, but it is unknown to me if these could be part of the original findings.

Thanks,

Dave
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Postby RRD2 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 2:50 pm

MDK:

Triton's excavation of the cove yielded much of interest. What is known publicly and reported in books doesn't offer an answer for what was found. By contrast, the confidential reports and analyses are even more spectacular, but appear to create even more questions and speculation.

It is not possible to accurately date the log structures, including the "U-shaped" structure found in the cove. C-14 dating is unreliable and the method of construction, with dowels and sequential Roman numerals may be found at different times in history by several different groups.

There are at least two distinct structures that were discovered there, including the "U-shape" and a "slipway" of logs and timber. These could either be from the work of the Halifax or Truro groups, roughly 1850 - 1866, or earlier. If accurate records from this era could be found, we might have an answer.

Some evidence of the original drains was found, but due to the temporary nature of the new cofferdam and other factors, little time was available for further excavation. It is also safe to say that the original drain system is much altered by years of excavation and disturbance. There might not be much of this system left to study. This is why the research conducted by Restall, RDI and earlier groups is still of value.

As for the outcome of these findings, we really don't have complete answers. What you witnessed during your visit was undoubtably part of the timbers uncovered in 1970, but if it is original work or not is unknown. Several theories exist for the purpose of the "U-shaped" structure and the slipway, but they are educated guesses.

What is clear is that a more permanent cofferdam should be built and a full-on archaeological dig conducted there. The artifacts uncovered, such as the "Spanish scissors" and wrought iron square offer only a glimpse of what may still be found there. The cove has produced more incredible artifacts and revealed more complex engineering than anywhere else on the island. It deserves thorough study.


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Postby Mad Davy Kidd on Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:55 pm

No problem glad you found it!

I've taken a crop of the full-size image, I think this shows the exposed Windsor formation you are referring to well.

http://ca.geocities.com/dave_van-vugt@r ... indsor.jpg

Dave
Last edited by Mad Davy Kidd on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby RRD2 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 7:55 pm

One similarity between the cove and the South Shore is the presence of original vertical shafts. The shaft at the cove was discovered by Restall and explored during the two month period that Restall and RDI worked together. This shaft is closer to the drain system than OH#3, and in line with a drilled rock marker and the cave-in shaft.

Oddly enough, if we were to extend this line towards the beach, it intersects exactly where Restall discovered the 1704 stone, at the low tide mark (1965). This same line, projected inland, intersects another drilled rock marker, 41 feet north of the MP. (A separate discussion of markers will begin shortly....).

These vertical shafts are original to the depositors and are positioned with respect to the flood tunnel system in a unique way. When the shaft at the cove was discovered, the thinking was that it may prove to be the location of a treasure cache. The same thinking existed when RDI discovered the South Shore shaft, but "nothing" in either shaft was discovered.

Each shaft was filled with beach rocks and foreign material, with a circular lining of larger stones. Both were obviously dug a very long time ago and as each was excavated, the digging was easy relative to the surrounding ground. For the most part, everyone was left scratching their heads. Nobody could explain why they were there. All of the available data from previous search attempts was reviewed, as well as discussions with Chappell, and both were confirmed to have been in "virgin ground". Shafts, trenches and drill holes from previous work were plotted, but the original shafts had not been previously intersected or excavated.

Could these shafts have been access points to a shut-off mechanism for the flood tunnels? Both shafts are thought to be in line with the flood tunnels that exist from the beaches to the MP and both filled quickly with sea water when excavated. If they are part of a water control system is still not known, but oddly enough, both shafts are in line with rock markers and other points of interest. On the South Shore, the shaft is related to a "flat rock marker" and no less than the stone triangle.

At the cove, Restall confirmed the existence of an area of paved stones buried under the surface of the beach. This is a large area, about the shape of a guitar pick, measuring 206 feet by 247 feet. The outline of this paved area is visible on the 7/25/65 RDI field sketch of the cove. It is comprised of a single layer of stones, covering the entire drain system. The structure was found at 6 feet deep inland, 4 feet deep at high tide mark and 2 feet deep at the low tide mark. The area was once covered entirely with eel grass, oak twigs and rotting branches from island trees.

Evidence of a basin, or paved area has not been confirmed to exist on the South Shore, but as this area is likely as complex as the cove, but deeper, we can expect to find something easily as incredible. More on this and other unique features of the cove and South Shore drain system to come....


Comments anyone regarding the flood system so far?



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Windsor rocks

Postby Tank04 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:40 pm

That photo does not show the so called Windsor Rock formation, it shows the slate. The Windsor Rock Formation is the limestone and gypsum fault that bisects Nova Scotia and disappears out to sea.

There is a terribly handsome fellow standing there with a megaphone in the photograph though.
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Speculation

Postby Tank04 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 8:44 pm

BI63,

...with your explaination, doesn't make sense. Why give ANY hint that something is buried at all?


What I said was pure, unadulterated speculation (educated though I may add). But, I have never been too sure the tackle block was not an embellishment, or, left over from another un related operation.
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Postby badinfluence63 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:17 pm

Tank,

I understand. I never took into consideration that hasty retreat theory or why would anyone leave even the slightest hint when no hint is better. Logic dictates that a hasty retreat would preclude sloppy cover ups or maybe even they weren't worried of someone came behind them because .....theres nothing there?

Sincerely,

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Postby RRD2 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 10:29 pm

More work was done there than what is commonly known. You have an interesting thought and one that I haven't considered before. How would this be possible?

We understand that the entire beach was altered to suit the specific engineering details. One can only guess as to how many men worked there and for what period of time. It must have been an extensive project, with dozens or more workers and supervisors.

There are additional artifacts that were discovered at the cove which I will describe - one of which is a set of pre-1700 (?) ship's tongs found by Carl Graeser and RDI. Another interesting anomaly is the evidence of fires on the beach, with ash and remnants similar to what has been found elsewhere on the island, including the MP.

What do you believe that these two discoveries indicate?


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Postby badinfluence63 on Thu Mar 23, 2006 11:19 pm

RDII,

Another interesting anomaly is the evidence of fires on the beach, with ash and remnants similar to what has been found elsewhere on the island, including the MP.

What do you believe that these two discoveries indicate?


That they were cold or liked to party and bonfires are a big part of beach parties throughout history?

Sorry for the stupid humor. I sense that you are possibly trying to indicate signal fires? What side of the beach were the fires? Facing the ocean or facing NS or both?

Sincerely,

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Postby RRD2 on Fri Mar 24, 2006 12:02 am

badinfluence63 wrote: I sense that you are possibly trying to indicate signal fires? What side of the beach were the fires? Facing the ocean or facing NS or both?


There could have been signal fires on the beach, but the evidence would suggest that fires were burning continuously there. Signal fires may have only been in use at specific times for relatively short periods. Fire was used to assist with tunnel and shaft ventilation and there's also the possibility that a furnace was built for a metalsmith.

Tank theorized that the bulk of the excavation took place near and through the MP, which would place ventilation apparatus there. has introduced the intriguing theory that the work at the cove was somehow done without the use of a cofferdam - essentially on dry land. Tunneling at this end would require ventilation from somewhere on the beach and inland towards the MP...

There are many objects of wrought iron, perhaps not all of them arriving to the island in the form that we see them now. The ship's tongs could have been used to handle coal or to work metal.

We accept the possibility that the original work was done by a group of people arriving in ships. No doubt there were ship's carpenters, blacksmiths and other skilled workers aboard that were put to work in the project. Working with metal was as common and important as working with wood, which apparently was extensive in these construction efforts.

Fires built at the cove could have easily been seen from the sea, but if the area was heavily wooded, they would have been obscured for the most part. Can anyone think of any other uses - and are there any thoughts about n4N's theory of a "dry" excavation & construction there?


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