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Thu Sep 22, 2022, 05:36 PM

Second ancient canoe pulled from Lake Mendota--dating back to 1,000 B.C. [View all]

Second ancient canoe pulled from Lake Mendota—dating back to 1,000 B.C.
Posted: September 22, 2022 4:43 PM
Updated: September 22, 2022 4:44 PM by Naomi Kowles, Lane Kimble

MADISON, Wis. — With a bit of help, another ancient piece of history has sailed home to the Ho-Chunk Nation–and marked Lake Mendota as having preserved the oldest canoe ever discovered in the Great Lakes region.

Maritime archaeologists with the Wisconsin Historical Society alongside members of Wisconsin’s Native Nations recovered a 3,000-year-old canoe Thursday morning from 30 feet under Lake Mendota. The discovery came just 100 yards away from another: last year, the Society recovered a 1,200-year-old canoe from Lake Mendota’s waters in November.

For Ho-Chunk Nation president Marlon WhiteEagle, the discovery points to the significance of the Ho-Chunk tribe’s ancestry in the region dating back several millennia.

“It shows that we had a society with transportation, trade, commerce that was a part of our fabric of society back then,” he said. “Recognize that our ancestors have been here and they thrived here in this region."

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