Having wrapped that up, we quickly moved on to a new task. It seems that some construction work in an agricultural field accidentally uncovered an aboiteau!
These are truly the cornerstone of Acadian construction, in fact, the name Acadian means “les défricheurs d’eau” which loosely translates to the “clearers of water”. (I’m sure there’s a snappier name for it in English, but only the french version comes to mind. I’m going to blame my french upbringing for that one.) An aboiteau is a sluice gate in a dike which allows water to flow out one end, but prevents it from flowing in the other. Using technology like this, the Acadians were able to turn marshes into extremely fertile agricultural lands.
This aboiteau is particularly interesting because of its intriguing craftsmanship. Most aboiteaux resemble hollowed out logs, but curiously, this one seems to have been squared off. Why go through so much trouble? This would have been tricky and time consuming considering the tools they had at their disposal back then. Did someone just really want to show off their superior craftsmanship or was this a functional decision. Post any of your ideas below.
We are currently awaiting dendochronology (also known as tree ring dating) results to tell us the age of this intriguing construction. Till then we will try to clean it off and learn what we can from it during the next few days.