1,000-year-old Indigenous canoe excavated from Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina
LAKE WACCAMAW, N.C. — The Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe helped archaeologists excavate a 28-foot canoe out of Lake Waccamaw on April 12 that is believed to be at least 1,000 years old. Local reports state that the canoe was found while three teenagers were swimming in the lake during the summer of 2021.
The Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe of North Carolina is one of eight state-recognized American Indian tribes in North Carolina. They call themselves “People of the falling star” because of their history near Lake Waccamaw. Their oral history tells that the lake was created long ago when a meteor crashed into the earth, and nearby waterways flowed into the crater, causing a unique blue-green appearance, unlike other lakes in the area.
Waccamaw Siouan Chief Michael Jacobs told Fox News that the canoe supports the tribe’s oral history that they have been there for thousands of years.
“For years and years, we’ve always been questioned about our history and where we come from and who we are,” Jacobs said at the excavation. “Now, we have physical history to back it up.”
Eli Hill, one of the teenagers who found the canoe while swimming, said he initially thought it was a log, but when he tried to pick it up, he couldn’t.
Hill’s family contacted the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, which sent a team to examine the canoe and move it under a dock until it could be safely excavated.
According to reports, dozens of tribal citizens of the Waccamaw Siouan Indian Tribe observed the canoe excavation, along with community members and other news media. The canoe was immediately placed in a chamber, covered and dried with towels and wrapped in plastic to prevent further deterioration. The canoe will be treated with chemicals in a lab to be preserved for future observation.
The canoe will be displayed during an open house at the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Laboratory in Greenville, N.C., on April 22.
Native News Online previously reported on canoe excavations. Last year, the Ho-Chunk Nation of Wisconsin pulled a second canoe out of Lake Mendota that is at least 1,000 years old.