New Brunswick

Archeological find halts N.B. roadwork

Roadwork in southwestern New Brunswick has been suspended in the Pennfield area after an unexpected archeological find.

Roadwork in southwestern New Brunswick has been suspended in the Pennfield area after an unexpected archeological find.

The discovery of what are believed to be First Nations artifacts happened in Charlotte County after torrential rains during post-tropical storm Earl exposed the objects.

Fred Blaney, an assistant deputy minister of transportation, said department staff always do an extensive environmental review before they begin new highway construction.

When the Pennfield area was surveyed before the work on Route 1 began, the review produced no apparent archeological findings, Blaney said. But after the massive rainstorm, archeologists wanted to take a second look at the site because it held potential for a discovery, he said.

The discovery they made late last week included evidence of some tools.

"Anytime that you uncover artifacts of any significance within the province it's certainly exciting," Blaney said.

"We, from the road-building side, of course we have a schedule to meet and we want to make sure we do the right thing as far as investigation and recovery of the artifacts, and such that we can get on with our business."

Archeologists with the province's Department of Wellness, Culture and Sport are now on the site reviewing the artifacts. It will take up to three weeks before they decide the level of recovery needed to preserve the items.

The department has sent letters about the find to the Passamaquoddy Nation, the Maliseet Advisory Committee on Archaeology and the Union of New Brunswick Indians.

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