Home U.S Huge prehistoric discovery over 4,000 years old in US lake as divers...

Huge prehistoric discovery over 4,000 years old in US lake as divers race to find more


A huge prehistoric discovery over 4,000 years old has been found in a US lake.

The Wisconsin Historical Society uncovered boats in the state’s northern Lake Mendota, which date between 4,500 years to 800 years old.

At least 11 canoes, each made from a single tree, were found alongside artefacts like fishing nets and tools. The discoveries could lead researchers to a lost Native American village

The four oldest of the canoes date back to the Late Archaic period, from 1000BC to 700AD, and two where from the Middle Woodland period that spanned from 1000AD to 1400AD.

“Seeing these canoes with one’s own eyes is a powerful experience, and they serve as a physical representation of what we know from extensive oral traditions that Native scholars have passed down over generations,” said tribal historic preservation officer for the Ho-Chunk Nation Bill Quackenbush.

“We are excited to learn all we can from this site using the technology and tools available to us, and to continue to share the enduring stories and ingenuity of our ancestors.” 

While the Ho-Chunk tribe once lived in the area surrounding Lake Mendota, the Paleo-Indian people were the earliest inhabitants arriving around 12,000 years ago – the Ho-Chunk tribe migrated there no earlier than 800AD.

Amy Rosebrough, staff archaeologist for the Wisconsin Historical Society, told DailyMail.com in 2021 that the canoes were used for fishing on the lakes, with a group of ‘netsinkers’ inside.

These items would have weighted down the lower end of a floating fishing net or anchored fishing lines.

The Wisconsin Historical Society is not planning to recover other canoes from the site due to their fragile condition after weathering long-term exposure to natural elements, and later, manmade conditions such as water pollution and boating wakes. 

“It is an honor for our team to work alongside the Native Nations to document, research and share these incredible stories from history,” Rosebrough said in regards to the 2024 announcement.

“What we thought at first was an isolated discovery in Lake Mendota has evolved into a significant archaeological site with much to tell us about the people who lived and thrived in this area over thousands of years and also provides new evidence for major environmental shifts over time.”

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