Exposed Again: Current Environmental Impact on Dugout Canoes---their Research and Care!

Author(s): Donna Ruhl

Year: 2015


Across Florida, severe drought in recent years lowered water levels, especially in 2000 and then again a decade later. Both times this resulted in the exposure of dozens and dozens of ancient dugout canoes. This trend occurred not only in Florida, but also the greater southeastern U.S. This paper discusses the concerted efforts of state and local agencies as well as private stewards to document the environmental impact on these canoe finds, as exposure to sun and elements accelerated their degradation. This destructive process nevertheless provided an opportunity to again record, map, photo, sample, identify, analyze and even preserve a few of these remains. Results of this analysis include many new C-14 dates that reveal insights about paleoenvironmental impacts, waterscapes, settlement change, economies, and overall significance of these typically overlooked yet unique artifacts. In addition, initiatives to exhibit and preserve selected dugout canoes has given way to innovative, green methods for their stabilization and care.

SAA 2015 abstracts made available in tDAR courtesy of the Society for American Archaeology and Center for Digital Antiquity Collaborative Program to improve digital data in archaeology. If you are the author of this presentation you may upload your paper, poster, presentation, or associated data (up to 3 files/30MB) for free. Please visit for instructions and more information.

Cite this Record

Exposed Again: Current Environmental Impact on Dugout Canoes---their Research and Care!. Donna Ruhl. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397703)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections

Spatial Coverage

min long: -91.274; min lat: 24.847 ; max long: -72.642; max lat: 36.386 ;