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A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America

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Early 19th-Century Canal Boat Found in New York Lake

Wednesday, May 03, 2017

New York canal boatOSWEGO COUNTY, NEW YORK—Syracuse.com reports that scuba divers assisted by maritime archaeologist Ben Ford of Indiana University of Pennsylvania investigated the wreckage of an early nineteenth-century canal boat in Oneida Lake. Known as a Durham boat, the vessel measured about 60 feet long and ten feet wide, and could carry about 20 tons of cargo in shallow waters. The vessel’s frame and bottom planks were made of white oak, while the siding was made of eastern white pine. A mallet, a wooden scoop, and a stoneware jug were found in the boat’s cabin. The cargo consisted of more than five tons of small stones from the south shore of Oneida Lake. The research team suspects the vessel sank in a storm while crossing the lake. To read about maritime archaeology in the Great Lakes, go to “Shipwreck Alley.”

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