VIDEO: Canoe Exposed By Hurricane Irma Has 50 Percent Probability of Being From 15th Century

By  //  October 6, 2017

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SENT TO Bureau of Archeological Research

BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Randy Shots, a Brevard County photographer on an early-morning bike ride the day after Hurricane Irma, stumbled upon an exciting find – a dugout canoe that may be hundreds of years old.

“The radiocarbon date is in for the Irma canoe, and the mystery continues,” said Shots in a Facebook post.

“Radiocarbon dating is a reliable method, but sometimes it can lead to more questions than answers. Radiocarbon dating does not produce a single date but rather a range of dates with associated probabilities.”

The radiocarbon dating results for the Irma canoe returned three date ranges with associated probabilities.

There is a 50 percent probability the wood used to make the canoe dates between 1640 to 1680, a 37.2 percent probability it dates between 1760 to 1818, and an 8.6 percent probability that it dates to 1930 or later.

“It is important to note that this gives us the probability of when the log used to make the canoe died or was cut down,” said Shots.

The canoe has some interesting features, like the presence of paint and wire nails, that indicate it may have been made in the 19th or 20th century, so this adds to the mystery.

Randy Shots, above, a Brevard County photographer on an early-morning bike ride the day after Hurricane Irma, stumbled upon an exciting find – a dugout canoe that may be hundreds of years old. (Randy Shots Facebook image)

Some possible explanations includes:

• The canoe was made in the 19th or 20th century, but from an old log.
• The canoe was made in the 17th or 18th century, was used for many, many years, and it was modified over time, i.e. the addition of the wire nails.
• Even though the probability is lower, the canoe was built recently during the 20th century.

The Bureau of Archeological Research is having additional tests run on the paint and are further examining the canoe to learn as much as possible about it.

The Bureau of Archeological Research is transporting the canoe to the department’s Conservation Lab where an expert staff will begin the process of preserving the canoe so that it can eventually be displayed locally for the Brevard area community and all Floridians to enjoy.

VIDEO: Hurricane Irma Reveals Dugout Canoe In Indian River That Could Be Hundreds of Years OldRelated Story:
VIDEO: Hurricane Irma Reveals Dugout Canoe In Indian River That Could Be Hundreds of Years Old

The Bureau of Archeological Research is transporting the canoe to the department’s Conservation Lab where an expert staff will begin the process of preserving the canoe so that it can eventually be displayed locally for the Brevard area community, and all Floridians, to enjoy.

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