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3,000-year-old canoe recovered from Wisconsin Lake

3,000-year-old canoe recovered from Wisconsin Lake #3000yearold #canoe #recovered #Wisconsin #Lake Welcome to Americanah Blog, here is the new story we have for you today:

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MADISON, Wis. (WFRV) – Less than one year after a 1,200-year-old canoe was recovered from Lake Mendota in Wisconsin, another dugout canoe was retrieved from the same area, only this time the artifact was much older.

Maritime archaeologists with the Wisconsin Historical Society, alongside partners from Wisconsin’s Native Nations, recovered a 3,000-year-old dugout canoe from Lake Mendota in Madison on Thursday.

3,000 year old canoe Lake MendotaThe canoe is carefully transported from the beach to a waiting trailer. Among those carrying the canoe are Bill Quackenbush (third from front on the right), the Ho-Chunk Nation Tribal Historic Preservation Officer, and Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologist Tamara Thomsen (left, second from front), who found the canoe at the bottom of Lake Mendota in May 2022. Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologists recovered a 3,000-year-old dugout canoe from Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 22, 2022. (Photo Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society)3,000 year old canoe Lake MendotaPhoto Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society3,000 year old canoe Lake MendotaDive team members walk the final steps to shore with the canoe on board a raft. Leading the team is Wisconsin State Archaeologist Jim Skibo, front left. Also pictured is Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologist Tamara Thomsen (right, third from front), who found the dugout canoe while exploring Lake Mendota in May 2022, and fellow Society maritime archaeologist Caitlin Zant (front right). Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologists recovered a 3,000-year-old dugout canoe from Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 22, 2022. (Photo Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society)3,000 year old canoe Lake MendotaMembers of the Ho-Chunk Nation, including President Marlon WhiteEagle, left, and Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Bill Quackenbush, right, gather around the canoe shortly after it was brought ashore. Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologists recovered a 3,000-year-old dugout canoe from Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 22, 2022. (Photo Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society)3,000 year old canoe Lake MendotaHo-Chunk Nation President Marlon WhiteEagle touches the canoe as Tribal Historic Preservation Officer Bill Quackenbush looks on. Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologists recovered a 3,000-year-old dugout canoe from Lake Mendota in Madison, Wisconsin, on Sept. 22, 2022. (Photo Credit: Wisconsin Historical Society)

The canoe was initially discovered by Wisconsin Historical Society maritime archaeologist Tamara Thomsen during a recreational dive in May of this year, and was found within 100 yards of where the first canoe was located.

Discussions about recovering it from the lakebed began immediately following Thomsen’s discovery.

The recovery of this canoe built by our ancestors gives further physical proof that Native people have occupied Teejop (Four Lakes) for millennia, that our ancestral lands are here and we had a developed society of transportation, trade, and commerce. Every person that harvested and constructed this caašgegu (white oak) into a canoe put a piece of themselves into it. By preserving this canoe, we are honoring those that came before us. We appreciate our partnership with the Wisconsin Historical Society, working together to preserve part of not only our ancestors’ history but our state’s history.

Ho-Chunk President Marlon WhiteEagle

The 3,000-year-old dugout canoe is carved from a single piece of white oak and measures approximately 14.5 feet in length. Radiocarbon dating performed on the latest canoe places it to 1000 B.C., making it the oldest ever discovered in the Great Lakes region by roughly 1,000 years.

Although it is likely that water transportation dates back to the arrival of Native peoples in this region, this discovery provides the earliest direct evidence.

The excavation and recovery efforts were conducted by Wisconsin Historical Society archaeologists and skilled volunteers. The canoe was hand-excavated in preparation for today’s recovery mission and then securely transported to the State Archive Preservation Facility in Madison for preservation and storage.


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The 3,000-year-old canoe will be cleaned and cared for by Tribal members and Society staff before being hand-lowered into a large preservation vat that also contains the 1,200-year-old canoe discovered in 2021.

Together the canoes will undergo a two-year preservation process that will conclude with freeze-drying to remove any remaining water.

“I was amazed when a 1,200-year-old canoe was uncovered last year, but this discovery of a canoe dating back to 1000 B.C. is just extraordinary,” said Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers. “This incredible finding provides an opportunity for us to work in concert with Tribal Nations to not only study but celebrate the history of the Indigenous people who’ve called this land home since long before Wisconsin became a state, and I look forward to learning more about this artifact’s origins.”

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