A 3,000-year-old canoe found in Wisconsin’s Lake Mendota is the oldest found in the Great Lakes region


The canoe, which was found in pieces on the lake bed, was removed in cooperation with the Native Nations of Wisconsin, the historical society said in a press release.

According to the historical society, the canoe, carved from a single piece of white oak and measuring 14.5 meters long, was found last November near where the 1,200-year-old canoe was found completely intact.

“Members of the Ho-Chunk Nation and Bad River Tribe were involved in the recovery of the canoe,” the historical society said in a press release.

The cannons are being restored in a process that will last two years.

“The discovery of an additional historically significant canoe on Lake Mendota is truly incredible and unlocks invaluable research and educational opportunities to explore the technological, cultural and stylistic changes in canoe design over 3,000 years,” said James Skibo, the society’s state archaeologist.

Skibo said the discovery, which was 100 meters from last year’s, has prompted investigations to determine whether the canoes were near the now-submerged village centers.

“The recovery of this canoe built by our ancestors provides further physical evidence that natives have occupied Teejop (Four Lakes) for millennia, that our ancestral lands are here, and that we had a developed transport, trade and commerce society,” Ho-Chunk. President Marlon WhiteEagle said.

The society said tribal members and local workers will look after the canoe and the canoe discovered last year is undergoing a two-year process to preserve it, culminating in freezing to remove any remaining water.

“I was surprised when a 1,200-year-old canoe was found last year, but this discovery of a 1,000-year-old canoe is extraordinary,” Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers said in a statement.