Canoe Discovered in Pristine Condition: Archaeologists in Switzerland have made an extraordinary revelation, unearthing a remarkably well-preserved canoe dating back 2,500 years.
The astonishing find was brought to light at a depth of 3.5 meters in Lake Neuchâtel, situated in western Switzerland, and hails from the early Iron Age, as reported by local news outlet Swiss Info.
During a press conference held on Wednesday, archaeologists from the Vaud canton’s archaeology department unveiled the canoe, originally unearthed in 2021. The intricate salvage operation utilized specialized techniques tailored for underwater discoveries, with an aircraft conducting an archaeological survey of the lake playing a pivotal role in its initial detection.
Months of meticulous preparation were undertaken by archaeologists to ensure the safe retrieval of the canoe. “This is an archaeologically significant discovery that greatly contributes to our understanding of the region’s prehistory. Radiocarbon analysis places its origin between 750 and 520 B.C., a period when no settlements existed along the lake shores. It is one of the very few nearly intact vessels from this era in Switzerland,” shared cantonal archaeologist Nicole Pousaz during the conference, according to Swiss Info.
The canoe has since been transported to a laboratory for specialized analysis. Archaeologists aim to glean valuable insights into the lives of people during that era. Advanced techniques such as photogrammetry and laser measurements will be employed to create a meticulous 3D model, offering a vivid representation of the canoe in its original, complete form.
“She’s a frail old lady, showing signs of her age. Storms have taken their toll, tearing out portions of the canoe’s sides, while the sediment-buried section has suffered extensive cracks. It is an incredibly delicate artifact,” revealed archaeologist Jean-Daniel Renaud to the press agency Keystone-SDA.
“Crafted during that time from a roughly 13-meter-long oak trunk with a diameter of about a meter, this particularly large canoe was predominantly utilized for transporting goods, people, and fishing purposes,” Renaud added.
This discovery promises to provide valuable insights to archaeologists, further unraveling the mysteries of that era. It is the largest and most impeccably preserved canoe from that time period found within the country, according to Swiss Info.
In a separate remarkable find, a child’s shoe from the Iron Age was recently discovered in Austria, showcasing exceptional preservation. Estimated to be over 2,000 years old, this discovery was made during excavations in the Dürrnberg region near Hallein—a site historically associated with rock salt mining during the Iron Age.