Dugout Canoe Project

Then: Imagine the sight of individuals clad only in loincloths, furiously chipping at a large felled log, slivers of wood flying high above them, and smoke curling upward from sections of the burning tree as they carve out a dugout canoe.

Now: In painstakingly precise recreations, archaeologists of the Bureau for Historic Preservation (BHP) of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) have created three such vessels during the past decade in an innovative outreach program, the Pennsylvania Dugout Canoe Project, which has educated thousands of visitors about this fascinating aspect of travel by Native Americans.

In 2005, the PHMC along with other groups and volunteers created a dugout canoe as an experiment in prehistoric technology.

Download a slideshow (PDF) to learn more about the project

It took more than 350 hours of labor to create the dugout canoe.