A wooden canoe that floated due to the strong winds of Hurricane Irma and was found on the banks of a lagoon in Cocoa, central Florida, can date from the seventeenth century.
One half of the odds, according to evidence of carbon-carbon 14, is that the wood used for the boat is between 1640 and 1680, Efe Sarah Revell, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of State, told EFE today.
However, there is a 37.3% chance that it is between 1760 and 1818, and 8.6% indicate that it may be from 1930 or later.
The artifact was found on the edge of the Indian River lagoon in Brevard County, north of Miami, by Randy “Shots” Lathropy, who photographed it while surveying the damage caused by Irma, which struck South Florida past 10 September.
The canoe has some interesting features, such as the presence of paint and wire nails, which indicate that it may have been made in the 19th or 20th century, adding mystery about its antiquity, the spokeswoman said.
However, it could be made from an antique piece, with some more modern adjustments.
The canoe, about 15 feet long, is now in Tallahassee, Florida’s capital, in official custody.
The Archaeological Research Office (BAR) is conducting additional tests on painting and in a long process of conservation.
Revell indicated that only with deeper analysis of construction techniques and consultations with the Seminole tribe and other Florida native communities can it be established whether it belongs to any of these cultures.
For now, the vessel is in a “stabilization and preservation” process, which can take up to a year, which includes desalination and removal of any algae outside.
It will also be treated for a year to strengthen the structure of the wood and prevent its contraction or expansion, said the spokeswoman.
The goal of the state government is to “return” Brevard County so that it can be displayed in a local museum.