Project seeks to learn more about Acadian history

It's well known the Acadian's came down to Louisiana following exile from the Nova Scotia region of Canada in the mid-1700s. And researchers are now trying to pin-point exactly where the first wave of settlers landed and how they lived.

That curiosity has spurred the beginning of a $100,000 archaeological dig. It's called Projet Nouvelle Acadie.

University of Louisiana-Lafayette professor Barry Ancelet says they're focusing on finding evidence of a man named Joseph Beausoleil Broussard, who is believed to be the leader of the exiled to the Loureauville area along Bayou Teche.

“He devised this plan to come to Louisiana,” said Ancelet. “He was a visionary, a genius. He referred to it as La Nouveau Acadien. The new Acadia and said we can reconstitute.”

“What we're proposing is to locate camp sites from 1765 and to locate burials associated with those,” said archaeologist Mark Rees.

The team is looking to connect the dots to see how Cajun culture evolved from food to music to language. And what's also unique about this project is the students and faculty born and raised around Acadiana get to uncover part of their own history.

Later down the line, they're hoping findings will create another tourist attraction that's uniquely Louisiana.

“Who would have thought you could have a heritage trail going along Bayou Teche? And these are opportunities that have been missed so far that might be developed,” said Rees.

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