1,000 Year Old Canoe Discovered In N.C. Lake, Brings Tribe Members To Tears

April 21, 2023

A group of teenagers playing around the pier at their home in North Carolina discovered a 1,000 year old canoe buried beneath the sand.

1000 year old canoe
North Carolina American Indian Heritage Commission / Facebook

"I stepped on it and I thought it was a log," Eli Hill told WECT. "I tried to pick it up and it never came up. So, we kept digging at it and it just kept going. And then the next day, we came back and we started digging some more and it just kept going."

They stored the canoe under their family's pier and called the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology.

On April 12, archealogists and members of the Waccamaw Siouan tribe brought the piece of history to land.

The 28-foot long canoe is made from pine, fully intact, and remarkably well-preserved.

"For the Creator to allow us an opportunity to actually handle and touch our history is just a blessing. I mean, it's overwhelming," Waccamaw Siouan Chief Michael Jacobs told As It Happens. "To think that you can put your hands on something over 1,000 years old that your ancestors actually made."


Jacobs said the tribe's elders cried tears of joy during the discovery.

"It was moving," he said, "to watch them sit on the bank and cry tears of joy, tears of sadness, tears of a future for our youth."

After the canoe is preserved, it will be brought to it's permanent home at the Waccamaw Siouan tribal grounds in Buckhead. It will be the first of many artifacts to be housed on the property.

The video below shows the moment the canoe was raised out of the water from underneath a private dock.

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