Nova Scotia

Archeologists may study Bayers Lake Mystery Walls with Halifax's help

No one knows who built a series of walls with flat rocks that sits overlooking the Bayers Lake Business Park.

'Imagination runs wild' about the odd stone structure, says archeologist

The walls were discovered in the 1980s due to some nearby development. (HalifaxTrails.ca)

Archeologists may be getting some help to unravel a historical oddity in the Halifax area. 

No one knows who built a series of walls with flat rocks overlooking Bayers Lake Business Park, but the Bayers Lake Mystery Walls have earned a fair amount of speculation. 

"There are all sorts of suggestions that it's an ancient site or a pre-Colombian site," archeologist Jonathan Fowler said Sunday.

"Imagination runs wild."

Work to begin in the spring

Halifax council votes Tuesday on contributing just under $5,500 to study the mysterious site. The Nova Scotia Archaeology Society, of which Fowler is president, will lead the project with Saint Mary's University.

Work is expected to begin next spring before vegetation grows in, Fowler said.

The walls were discovered in the 1980s due to some nearby development. Since then, the site has attracted "a high degree of public interest," a July report by parks policy manager Betty Lou Killen said.

'Difficult to properly protect'

The funding would help pay to analyze soil composition with a portable X-ray fluorescent system, instead of excavation. The survey would be "practically non-instrusive," only requiring archeologists remove sod and leaves temporarily, according to the proposal. 

"It's just a great opportunity to roll out the scientific method and just see what we learn," Fowler said. 

"It's difficult to properly protect the site if you don't fully understand what it is. This is fairly primary research."

Throughout the study, as it is now, the site will be protected under the province's Special Places Protection Act. 

Could be 'fairly recent' answer

Funding may be close, but an answer to Bayers Lake's mystery is still far away, Fowler said.

"Just because we don't know what it is, doesn't mean necessarily that aliens caused it or it's some pre-Colombian structure or anything like that," he said. 

"It could be a really local — fairly recent, even — answer for why those stones are out there."

The society plans to use the study to teach members of the community about archaeology, Fowler said.

About the Author

Rachel Ward

Journalist

Rachel Ward is a journalist with CBC Calgary. You can reach her with questions or story ideas at rachel.ward@cbc.ca.