A Canoe on a Sand Bar: The Remarkable Story of the Guth Canoe in Northeast Arkansas

Author(s): Jeffrey Mitchem

Year: 2015


For thousands of years before motorized transportation, dugout canoes were the mode of water travel in interior North America. Due to their perishable nature, they are rarely found archaeologically. Most have been preserved due to being kept submerged in anaerobic conditions or buried in underwater sediments. In Arkansas, only a handful have been found, all in riverine situations. The severe flooding in northeast Arkansas in 2008 dislodged a dugout in the St. Francis River that ended up on a sandbar. When a local resident discovered it, he transported it to his home and kept it in wet conditions. He contacted the Arkansas Archeological Survey about it, and I took measurements and a sample for wood identification and possible radiocarbon dating. I discouraged the owner from radiocarbon dating because I thought it was historic. When the sample was dated, the calibrated range was AD 1310-1450. It is now at Cahokia.

Cite this Record

A Canoe on a Sand Bar: The Remarkable Story of the Guth Canoe in Northeast Arkansas. Jeffrey Mitchem. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, Seattle, Washington. 2015 ( tDAR id: 433830)


Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 156