New Brunswick

Mount Carleton bridge replacement uncovers centuries-old artifacts

Bridge replacement work at Mount Carleton Provincial Park has recently uncovered 26 centuries-old artifacts.

Archaeologists found 26 artifacts, including a stone knife and grinder, around Bathurst Lake and Moose Brook

Archaeologists recently discovered 26 artifacts at the bridge replacement sites in Mount Carleton Provincial Park, including stone scrapers and grinders. (CBC)

Archeologists have uncovered 26 artifacts, some which could be about 6,000 years old, during the bridge replacement at Mount Carleton Provincial Park.

When Wolastoq Grand Chief Ron Tremblay first saw artifacts, he couldn't help but wonder if there was a family connection. 

"It kind of gets you a little emotional because you're seeing your ancestors' work," said Tremblay.

"And, you wonder if it was your great-great grandparent or something like that."

Archeologists found 26 artifacts around Bathurst Lake and Moose Brook — located at the site where two bridges are slated for replacement and part of a controversial snowmobile hub and trail development proposed for the wilderness park.

According to the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure, the bridges have been removed, and the new ones will soon be put in.

One of the artifacts — a stone scraper — functions similar to an X-Acto blade.

Brent Suttie, the director of the provincial government's archaeological services branch, said the artifact is more than 2,000 years old.

Another stone artifact the size of half a loaf of bread used as an anvil and a grinder could be as old as 6,000 years.

Judicial review 

Brent Suttie of the province's archaeological services branch says archaeologists will be on site while construction is underway at Mount Carleton Provincial Park. (CBC )
The Maliseet Grand Council filed for a judicial review of the snowmobile hub and trails to try and stop the government's plan. 

The judicial review was scheduled to be heard in Woodstock on Sept. 2, but was postponed after the group's lawyer became ill.

Tremblay said the bridges are being constructed on sacred ground.

Suttie said that most of the artifacts came from land already churned up in the 1960s. The site discovered intact by archeologists resulted in the repositioning of the new bridges, he added.

Suttie said archeologists will be on site as the bridge construction goes ahead. 

"Going forward there will be archeologists monitoring that when they do disturb the soil, making sure that there wasn't anything else ... or making sure the limits of the construction don't expand into areas that we haven't assessed," he said.