A Native American canoe believed to be centuries-old has been found after it was unearthed along the Indian River in Florida following Hurricane Irma, officials say.
A Cocoa-based photographer was riding his bike along the river earlier this week when he came across the run-down canoe and immediately informed the Florida Division of Historical Resources after, according to ABC News.
‘My main concern was to secure it from harm’s way,’ Randy Lathrop told the news station about the rare discovery.
Lathrop, a history lover, said the craft weighed ‘almost 700 pounds, but might as well have weighed 1,000 pounds’ as it appeared to have ‘been water soaked for years.’
Scroll down for video Hurricane Irma unearths what officials believe to be a centuries-old canoe along the Indian River north of Cocoa, Florida
Photographer Randy Lathrop was riding his bike along the river earlier this week when he came across the run-down canoe
‘My main concern was to secure it from harm’s way,’ Randy Lathrop told ABC of the finding
‘I was able to go half a mile away and get my friend with a truck and we struggled to get into the back of the truck,’ he added.
Lathrop shared picture proof of the finding to his Facebook page Monday.
‘Look what Irma kicked up out of the bottom of the Indian River, a dugout canoe. Florida State Dept of Historical Resources has been notified, they are sending an archaeologist in the morning,’ he wrote.
‘It is the law to notify the DHR (a gentle reminder, this belongs to the people of Florida, and hopefully will be preserved and exhibited in the future) Thank you all for your interest! I got to it before it was picked up by the county with all the other storm debris and placed in a landfill.
The area was deemed Florida’s ‘Space Coast’ as it’s also near the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station
‘I’ll certainly keep everyone updated on this progress, promise. Thank you all for sharing and liking!! UPDATE: an archeologist has documented the artifact, it is safe in a water bath, rumor has it may stay in this county for future public view! History saved, for the public. Thank you all!!!
‘Spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Historical Resources, Sarah Revell, said radiocarbon dating will determine more specific details about the 15-foot-long boat — which holds distinctive features.
Revell revealed: ‘The compartments are a bit out of the ordinary … The square nails are cut nails. Cut nails were first in production in the early 19th century so that helps to indicate it is a historic canoe.’