ns-acadian-church

Archeologists at the Grand Pré National Historic Site in Nova Scotia are working on remains of what may be the original Acadian church. ((CBC))

The remnants of the original church where Acadian men and boys were rounded up in 1755 and told they would be expelled may have been unearthed at the Grand Pré National Historic Site in Nova Scotia.

Earlier this year, workers were trying to install water pipes into the Memorial Church when they stumbled upon rows of rocks, which may have formed the foundation of the original Saint- Charles-des-Mines Church.

The Memorial Church, built in 1922 with funds donated by Acadians across North America, is the centrepiece of the park that commemorates the Acadian expulsion by the British army.

Professional archeologists and student groups have been digging on the site for years.

Jonathan Fowler, an archeologist at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, said the find is exciting.

"The actual genesis of the project was that question: was the Memorial Church built on the site, was that the case? That was the intention, but did they get it right?" he said Friday.

"We've always wondered about that question, and we tried to figure that out. This is 10 seasons; we've had over 100 students work on the project. That level of commitment just comes when people are really interested and feel the connection to the site."

A lot of work remains before the theory can be tested, he said, and possibly verified. 

The dig will continue throughout the summer to try and find more evidence — possibly including religious artifacts — to support the thesis that the remains could be those of the original church.