Mystery Canoe in FL

Discussion in 'Ancient History and Archaeology' started by Debi, Sep 17, 2017.

  1. Debi

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    An art photographer examining the damage inflicted by Hurricane Irma upon his city of Cocoa, Florida was amazed to discover what appears to be an ancient canoe that was unearthed during the storm.

    Randy Lathrop was riding his bike near the Indian River when he spotted the out-of-place wooden vessel sitting near the edge of the water.

    Having lived through a number of hurricanes hitting his community, Lathrop noted that odd objects washing ashore after storms isn't entirely unusual for the area.

    However, the mysterious canoe was far bigger and certainly more enigmatic that the items usually uncovered by metal detector-wielding beachgoers after such events.

    Fortunately, Lathrop and a friend managed to salvage the vessel, which measures a whopping 15 feet long and weighs almost 700 pounds/

    A former participant in historic shipwreck salvage, the find was particularly interesting to Lathrop, who said that the presence of square iron nails in the ship suggests that it came from the 1700's, although he conceded to be uncertain about that assessment.

    More information should be known soon as the Florida Division of Hurricane Resources now has possession of the piece and is studying it to learn more about its origins.

    Their initial assessment is that the canoe narrowed its age range down to somewhere between the early arrival of Europeans to America up to several decades ago, but, even if that is the case, it is likely to be at least 50 years old.

    A better understanding of the vessel's age will likely be revealed in a few weeks, once results from carbon dating tests on the canoe are complete.

    Source: NBC News
     
  2. T-Bob

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    Prehistoric canoe finds are not that uncommon, especially in the South. Most that I have seen date within the last thousand years, or so. I would like to see a really old one found, maybe, Dalton Period (very late Pleistocene-Early Holocene), or even older. Dalton sites often produce "Dalton adzes" found in close proximity, which were most likely used in the building of dugout canoes. There's got to be some of their canoes out there.
     
    #2 T-Bob, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017
  3. Lynne

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    Where would it have been hidden all these years. How would it still be preserved after all this time ?
     
  4. Seahunter

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    With the power of all that water hitting the coast, it could have been either underwater or dry land that got shifted with the inundation of water. Wood can be very well preserved given the right conditions. It depends on fresh water versus sea water, temperature of the water, etc. Objects covered up with fine silt, clay, bogs, etc. can provide an anaerobic environment, in which the object is protected against oxygen which destroys the material. I worked on a Civil War fort that actually had a moat around it. The fort had earthen walls and used boards to hold the sandy soil from collapsing in, in the moat. We uncovered boards that had been so well preserved they looked like they were fresh boards and they had been underground for almost 130 years. Think also of the "bog people" which are bodies that have been naturally mummified in a peat bog due to the lack of oxygen, high acidity of the bog, and cooler temperatures. Bog bodies have been discovered as old as 8,000 years.
     
    #4 Seahunter, Sep 30, 2017
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  5. 7Christie

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    Canoe-from-hurricane.jpg

    So the canoe is anywhere from 50 years old to 6000 years old ? I hope that there is a followup story. Great find.
     
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  6. Seahunter

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    The initial age range is so huge because the canoe was not found "in situ" - in its original place - so there was no other way to help date it. They can use carbon dating for the wood, and as mentioned by T-Bob before, they can use Dendrochronology, or tree ring dating for wood as well. It depends on the region, but currently the maximum span for fully anchored chronology is a little over 11,000 years B.P. for Dendrochronology. B.P. dates are commonly used now so as not to offend non-Christians, and stands for Before Present. "Present" refers to January 1, 1950.
     
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  7. Lynne

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    Great information Sea.
     
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  8. 7Christie

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    I have not seen B.P. used before. Thanks for the explanation.
     
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  9. Taliesin

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    That's confusing. Why don't they use BCE and CE?
     
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  10. Seahunter

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    It is a very complicated answer. In order to make certain audiences and users of dating methods happy, the CE and BCE dating method became used because it did not reference Christianity. However, one of the main issues is that CE and BCE still use the birth of Christ as the basis of the calendar, they just renamed it essentially. Researchers, scientists and scholars then began to use BP (Before Present) for dating, with "Present" being 1950. The year 1950 is not completely arbitrary, as radiocarbon dating was invented in the late 1940's. BP dating is not without its issues either. Due to the atmospheric nuclear testing in the fifties, radiocarbon dates after 1950 are basically useless due to all the additional carbon in the atmosphere without a way to calibrate it.

    I hope this makes sense, I was really tired when I wrote it!
     
    #10 Seahunter, Oct 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2017
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