Robert Cornett and Jeanna Bradle were walking down a Louisiana river bank when, lost in the mud, they saw a huge piece of wood. Upon inspection, it turned out to be a 33-foot canoe.
After another inspection, it turned out to be a Native American dugout canoe, weighing over 1,000 lbs. The boat is three feet wide.
This is the largest ever intact Native American canoe that has ever been found in the United States.
The Daily Mail reports:
It was constructed 800 to 1,000 years ago by digging out a cypress trump, most likely by the Caddo Indians, who settled in the area.
The find is in excellent condition, although one side of it is missing,
The pair came across the find after Mr Cornett decided to take time off work for a boat trip as it was his birthday.
Archeologist Jeffrey Girard from the Louisiana Archaeological Society and Robert Chip from the State Archaeological Division excavated the boat.
Mr Girard said a similar canoe was found locally in 1983. This is now on display at the Louisiana State Exhibit Museum in Shreveport.
‘It’s not common to find them. It’s only the second one we’ve found in this area,’ he told Fox 33. ‘They’re both very similar to one another and very large.’
The canoe has been taken to Texas A&M University where a conservation process will begin that could take two years.
A wood sample has been taken away for radiocarbon dating and the craft will go on display when scientists are certain it has been protected from decomposition.
The landowner has donated the canoe to the museum, and when it is done being restored it will be put on display.
Dugout canoes have been used in Europe for about 8,000 years, starting the stone age. The boat is made by cutting down a tree, and literally digging it out until it is hollow. It seats a dozen or more sometimes.