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Lake Minnetonka Canoe is Nearly 1,000 Years Old

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posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 01:08 AM
Archaeologists working in the region around Lake Minnetonka as part of the "Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project." have recently completed radiocarbon dating on a canoe, previously believed to be around 200 to 300 years old, have discovered its age to be closer to 1000 years old.

The canoe had been on display at a small schoolhouse that has been converted to a museum (Western Hennepin County Pioneer Association museum) that is open by appointment on Saturdays. It had previously been a background piece in the museum, the curators are now planning on displaying this ancient canoe front and center. In previous years the canoe had been lent out to other museums but thats going to stop, the museum now plans to for the canoe to stay put.

No more traveling for this canoe, thats a good idea as this canoe is ancient and needs to be protected and preserved so future generations are able to view and appreciate it.
Native Americans made dugout canoes by burning the center and then carving out the inside of a tree trunk.

A dugout canoe discovered 80 years ago in Lake Minnetonka is hundreds of years older than previously thought and is one of the oldest of its kind ever found in Minnesota.
New radiocarbon dating has found that a canoe removed from Lake Minnetonka in 1934 was constructed between 1025 and 1165 A.D., making it nearly 1,000 years old.

The canoe, made from a hollowed tree trunk by some of the earliest American Indians to live on the lake and in the state, was initially dated to about 1750. But recent radiocarbon testing now dates it to between 1025 and 1165 — making it one of the oldest watercraft finds in the state.

A family building a dock discovered the canoe in 1934 buried in mud in Lake Minnetonka. Too bad that people back in those days were not too concerned with preservation.

The study, released Tuesday by Maritime Heritage Minnesota, determined that the Lake Minnetonka canoe, which is 11 feet by nearly 1.5 feet, is the oldest. It’s also in good condition despite some deterioration since it was unearthed; it’s lost small pieces and a large crack splits it.
“That’s sad,” Merriman said, adding that the damage may be from the 1930s. “They didn’t know better; they cared about history but didn’t know how to care for it.”
Locations where the dugout canoes studies by the Minnesota Dugout Canoes Project were found:

Dugout boats

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 01:12 AM
reply to post by Jennyfrenzy

Very nice,,
Thanks for bringing up.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 01:19 AM
reply to post by Jennyfrenzy

What if it isn't a Native American dugout boat at all, but a boat made by Vikings?
They were possibly around that area at the time. Cool boat.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 02:52 AM

reply to post by Jennyfrenzy

What if it isn't a Native American dugout boat at all, but a boat made by Vikings?
They were possibly around that area at the time. Cool boat.

I would say that vikings would be an odd conclusion seeing as it would make far more sense that this comes from the people who inhabited the land for a much longer period of time, and in far greater numbers than a few explorers whos extent of travel isn't really known.

Anything is possible but I don't see any reason to suggest Vikings having anything to do with this.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 03:48 AM

Sorry couldn't resist

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 06:16 AM
reply to post by James1982

I agree with you completely, not a Viking boat.
This is most definitely a Native American dugout canoe, Lucinda.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 10:45 AM
reply to post by James1982

I saw a show on TV a few weeks ago that was trying to prove vikings made it to North America. I was just throwing it out there.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 10:48 AM
reply to post by Jennyfrenzy

Good find, and hopefully the wood will be protected and honored. Do present day Indians still make canoes this way? I would think that they'd have to be expertly made and balanced for humans to sail well on them. I doubt if I'd get in one of these old-style canoes, but might if I saw that it worked well. Thanks again!

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 07:10 PM
reply to post by Aleister

I love stories like this too, human ingenuity at its finest.
It sounds like the dugout project and museum is serious about keeping this boat protected.

Are Native American boats like these still used today?
Sometimes, but not very often. Canoeing is still popular among Native Americans in many tribes, but most of them use modern canoes, just as their non-Native neighbors do.
Traditional Indian canoes are still made by craftsmen in some tribes, but they are most often used for display or for cultural festivals.
In Alaska, Northern Canada, and especially Greenland, some Inuit and Aleut hunters still take to the sea in skin kayaks.
Aymara reed boats are mostly used for cultural events and tourism, but in a few communities smaller reed boats are also used for fishing.
On the Amazon River and its tributaries, some South American Indian tribes continue to use traditional boat styles on a daily basis.

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 07:51 PM
great post Jen
I am a canoeist ( boater, sailor) from the other side of the great lakes...lake huron, georgian bay
that is a very small canoe...small placid water only... no load

about european influences
here is a slavic model same time period
If you go to my siggy thread you'll see there was a lot of contact world wide going back to 7000 years ago
so there are plenty of grounds to think the styles may have been transferred from area to area.
But funny enough you see dug outs all over the world, but not birch bark canoes like from my area, so i suspect that indicates dugouts like that are a far older style.

up here the main construction these days is fiberglass..Bullet proof kevlar especially is great for white water because they can bounce off rocks and take abuse..but up until about 20 years ago the common construction was cedar strip with a canvas favourite to paddle on open water ( haha, but NOT for bouncing of rocks!)
also aluminium is sometimes used which is great for carrying over portages because they are super light...but they are noisy...
not good for hunting or fishing...

about Kayaks there are still traditional constructions being built but its a dying art I think because the modern glass kayak on the water is just great to paddle, and has many modern niceties like hatches for stowage and foot controlled rudders

can't help it...ANY kind of boat is near and dear

edit on Wedpm4b20144America/Chicago38 by Danbones because: (no reason given)

posted on Apr, 16 2014 @ 08:18 PM
Thanks for posting Op, S&F

I find prehistoric crafting fascinating, it amazes me what people would do to create items. I found a pretty cool video showing modern people working on creating one of these canoes. I love this stuff! In the video it took over 6 months for them to build.

Video Description:

In this episode, I test my skills in a very different way. As an outdoor skills director, I always try and push the limit of what can be done as a part of a summer camp program. This season, it was perhaps the most ambitious project I've ever attempted, a dugout canoe. It's an ancient style of boat, which humans have been constructing for millennia. This first section, is about the physical construction of the boat, while the second is the process of launching it.
Video Link:

Part 2:
Video Link:

edit on 4/16/2014 by mcx1942 because: brain fart

posted on Apr, 17 2014 @ 09:09 AM
reply to post by Jennyfrenzy

Wasn't aware of this and I'm from Minnesnowta. Great find!

Star and flag.


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