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Centuries-old dugout discovered in Polish river

A four-meter boat made from a single piece of wood has been discovered in the Bug river near the village Stary Bubel in the Polish province of Lublin. Preliminary analysis suggests that it was made between the fifteenth and mid-seventeenth centuries.

Centuries-old dugout discovered in Polish river
Left side and interior of the dugout 
[Credit: Grzegorz Śnieżko]
"Dugouts are not extremely rare finds, but they are certainly interesting and noteworthy. Currently, there are more than 330 known in the Polish territory. Boats, the age of which has been determined, mostly date back to the Middle Ages and modern times", explained Grzegorz Śnieżko from of the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology PAS in Warsaw.

The dugout was discovered protruding from the water by a local resident while fishing. Thinking that the piece of wood visible was of natural origin, he decided to come back for it to use it as a home garden ornament. After the removal of sufficiently large amounts of sand below water, the wood surfaced. It turned out that it was a dugout, a boat made from a hollowed tree trunk.

"Without excavation it is difficult to assess whether it was carried to the place of discovery by the current from upriver or was found near the place where the last user left it and perhaps lost as a result of landslide, in which the soil sank the dugout", commented Śnieżko.

Scientists believe the boat is made from oak. The preserved length of the object measures 4 meters, but researchers believe that it was originally about a dozen centimetres longer. Halfway along the length of the dugout, the makers left a bulkhead separating the bow part from the stern. In the bow part, in the upper part of the two sides slightly below the edge, two longitudinal parts of triangular cross-section were formed - perhaps for mounting a seat. The preserved part of the bow shows thickening preceded by a groove and was likely used for attaching a mooring line.

C14 dating places the dugout's manufacture to between the end of the fifteenth and first half of the seventeenth centuries. However, according to the archaeologist, these results should be considered preliminary.

Source: PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland [June 05, 2015]
TANN

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