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Ancient Dugout Canoe Discovered in Maine

Friday, June 7, 2019

KENNEBUNKPORT, MAINE—According to a Seacoast Online report, a 10-foot-long dugout canoe was discovered in the shifting sands of the intertidal zone at Maine’s Cape Porpoise Harbor. Archaeologist and Maine Game Warden Tim Spahr and his colleagues in the Cape Porpoise Archaeological Alliance carefully removed the canoe from the sands and placed it in a custom-built crate to carry it off the beach. “It was incredibly volatile,” Spahr said. “It did suffer a few cracks in the wood, but we were able to get it into the crate in one piece.” The hollowed-out birch tree trunk, radiocarbon dated to between A.D. 1280 and 1380, would have been used by local Algonquin speakers as they fished and traded. As the next step in the conservation process, the canoe will be immersed in fresh water for about one year. To read about the discovery of an 18th-century ship at the World Trade Center site, go to "The Hidden History of New York's Harbor."

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