Archeologists Recover 1,200-Year-Old Canoe from the Bottom of Lake Mendota, Wisconsin

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Divers dived deep to find this treasure. A canoe was pulled from Lake Mendota’s bottom in Wisconsin.

According to officials, carbon dating shows that it could have been 1,200 years old. It would therefore date back to 800 AD, long before Europeans arrived.

Maritime archeologists first learned about the canoe’s existence over the summer, but it was just this month when they were able to send divers into the water to recover it. 

The Wisconsin Historical Society says it’s a dugout wood canoe made from a single tree and is a significant artifact that can help connect the region to its history.

Ho-Chunk Nation member praised the discovery, saying that it would preserve and protect the culture of the tribe. 

The canoe was brought to a preservation center where it is being stored inside a custom container with bio-deterrent.

While the preservation process can take some time, officials plan to include the canoe at a new history museum which will open in 2026.