Southeastern Dugout Canoe
January 11th, 2013
The Museum’s dugout canoe is a familiar object to long-time patrons, as it was on display for many years. Now comfortably resting in the Education room, the canoe continues to fascinate thousands of school children each year. The piece of a canoe was hidden beneath the Flint River mud in Georgia for centuries until it reappeared during a drought in the early 1970s. Though incomplete, our example measures 20 feet in length. Similar canoes often measure up to 40 feet long.
Southeastern Native Americans shaped their canoes by carefully burning and scraping large pine logs, as shown in these photographs from the MOA archives. Radiocarbon (C14) dating of the charred inner surface of our canoe piece indicates that it was made close to A.D. 970, more than one thousand years ago!