Lake Minnetonka canoe is nearly 1,000 years old

Dugout canoe
Canoe removed from Lake Minnetonka's West Arm in 1934.
Minnesota Historical Society photo

A dugout canoe discovered 80 years ago in Lake Minnetonka is hundreds of years older than previously thought and is one of the oldest of its kind ever found in Minnesota.

New radiocarbon dating has found that a canoe removed from Lake Minnetonka in 1934 was constructed between 1025 and 1165 A.D., making it nearly 1,000 years old.

Dugout canoe
The Lake Minnetonka North Arm Dugout Canoe (21-HE-438) housed at the Western Hennepin County Pioneers Association. This artifact was used by people of the Woodlands Culture.
Courtesy of Maritime Heritage Minnesota

The canoe is on display in Long Lake at the Western Hennepin County Pioneer Association Museum, which now claims it as one of the "premier archaeological finds in Minnesota."

Archaeologists Ann Merriman and Christopher Olson have been radiocarbon dating this and several other dugout canoes around the region as part of Maritime Heritage Minnesota's "Minnesota Dugout Canoe Project."

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