The Top 20 Oak Island discoveries helping to unravel the 200 year-old mystery
Here we list the top 20 discoveries made to date which provide clues that may help to solve the Oak Island mystery. If viewing on a desktop: hover over each photo for the full description.
For over 200 years, people have been searching for treasure on Oak Island, centering around a mysterious 230ft-deep booby-trapped shaft known as the ‘money pit’. This floods when excavations reach a certain depth. Situated off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada, the island and its long-held secret are now the subject of a popular History Channel show The Curse of Oak Island. Several important artefacts have been unearthed during the six seasons of the show - both on and off the island. A number of these were discovered by Lincolnshire metal detection expert Gary Drayton. Join us as we look back through the years, decades and centuries to uncover the 20 most significant finds to date - which may just help to solve the mystery once and for all.
1. The Money Pit
The discovery that started it all - the money pit was originally discovered in 1795 when three young boys visiting the island noticed a circular depression in the ground. They dug down thinking they would discover pirate treasure. Subsequent excavations revealed layers of oak platforms, the 90ft stone and 'Chappell Vault'. Its depth of around 200ft suggests something of high importance or value was placed here. The exact location of the original pit has yet to be found after it was lost when previous excavation work disrupted the surface or the area.
The 90ft stone - Found in the money pit during the first organised excavation in 1803, the stone slab featured bizarre symbols carved into it. No-one has definitively been able to decipher the code, although one attempt by Rev A. T. Kempton in 1949 suggests it can be translated to read: 'Forty feet below two million pounds are buried'.
Pulled out of borehole H8 in the money pit area during current excavations by the Lagina's team. The bones have been examined and found to come from two people - someone of European origin and another of Middle Eastern origin.
One of Gary Drayton's greatest Oak Island finds, the lead cross, found at Smiths Cove, has been analysed by a scientist to originate from Europe during the time of the Knights Templar. Confirmed Templar coins have also been found by Drayton and others. On the show, Rick Lagina noticed its striking similarity to a Templar prison carving (see below).