Ammunition find excites Grand Pre archeologists

A new discovery at Grand Pre has archeologists wondering if they've unearthed "ground zero" of the Acadian deportation of 1755.

A new discovery at Grand Pre has archeologists wondering if they've unearthed "ground zero" of the Acadian deportation of 1755.

Jonathan Fowler, a Nova Scotia archeologist, and his team recently discovered about 15 musket balls in the ruins of an oldhouse.

"This volume of musket balls is a little bit strange for the usual domestic occupation," he told CBC News on Tuesday.

When Fowler compared the find to those at other Acadian archeological sites, hefelt the team may have foundthe British headquarters for the deportation.

"It leads one to believe ... that we may have evidence of these New Englanders," he said.

But it's difficult to prove, Fowler added.

The team is now hoping to find evidence of a palisade, a fence the archeologists believe the British built around two houses, a church and a cemetery.

"If we can find that, then we can be certain that everything within that perimeter is ground zero for this site and for those events of 1755," Fowler said.

Grand Pre, along the Minas Basin, was the largest Acadian community when the British ordered the deportation of thousands of Acadians in 1755.

British troops arrived in August of that year, taking over the church, the priest's house and another building as their headquarters.

Since the Grand Pre archeological field school project began in 2001,the teamhas uncovered thousands of artifacts, mostly bits of rusted iron and broken glass.

Fowler, director of the project, said the team has not found any signs of the old church, which served as a prison for Acadian men and boys.

Fowler hopes to continue digging.

He acknowledges there is already a lot known about the area in 1755, but hopes finding ground zero will give people another way to connect with history.