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Second Ancient Native American Canoe Discovered in Wisconsin

Monday, September 26, 2022

Wisconsin CanoeMADISON, WISCONSIN—According to a statement released by the Wisconsin Historical Society, a second ancient canoe has been recovered from Lake Mendota. Last year, a 1,200-year-old canoe was discovered in the lake’s mud by maritime archaeologist Tamara Thomsen while on a recreation dive. She found this canoe, which has been radiocarbon dated to 3,000 years ago, while diving this past spring. The vessel, carved from a single piece of white oak, measures about 14.5 feet long. “Since it was located within 100 yards of where the first canoe was found at the bottom of a drop-off in the lakebed, the find has prompted us to research fluctuating water levels and ancient shorelines to explore the possibility that the canoes were near what is now submerged village sites,” said state archaeologist James Skibo. The canoe will be cleaned and cared for by members of the Ho-Chunk Nation and the Bad River Tribe, in addition to the staff of the Wisconsin Historical Society, before it joins the 1,200-year-old canoe in the preservation process at Wisconsin’s State Archive Preservation Facility. To read about the discovery of the first canoe, go to "Gone Fishing."

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