From Droughts to Dugouts
It happened 12 years ago along the shores of Newnans Lake in Alachua County and it's happening again now just outside of the
town of Melrose. The uncovering of two Indian dugout canoes on a lake bed in Putnam Hall attracted the attention of a team of
scientists from the University of Florida. The discovery can be partially credited to a drought that Florida Museum of Natural
History Exhibit Director, Darcie MacMahon says has greatly affected the area.
"So most people know we're going through a really bad drought right now and alot of the lake levels are down quitea bit. And
what's happening is, some of the prehistoric dugout canoes are popping up in various lakes around the state as these water
levels get so historically low."
The rainfall deficit last year for North Central Florida was 15 inches. In comparison, this year isn't half over yet but there already
is a seven and a half inch rain deficit for the area. The Putnam Hall canoes were covered back up soon after their measurements
and samples were taken to ensure their preservation. The location of the artifacts are not being revealed in an attempt to
discourage vandalism which been a problem with similar cases in the past. Museum researchers encourage anyone who finds
something that may be a canoe to contact them or leave it alone. Scientists are now working to raise funds to cover the cost of
carbon dating the wood samples from the canoes. Chris Gilmore TV20 News.
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