The object-rich, interactive exhibit takes visitors through North, Central and South America to explore how dugout canoes were used and how scientists study and preserve these ancient watercrafts. The nationally known exhibit is based on the world’s largest archeological find of 101 ancient dugouts in Florida’s Newnans Lake. In 2000, drought caused lake levels to drop enough to expose the prehistoric canoes, which range in age from 500 to 5,000 years. The exhibit features artifacts, tools, videos, models and life-size vessels to tell the story of how life and travel in the Americas have been affected by the use of dugout canoes.
Dugout Canoes: Paddling through the Americas is open daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and offered in English and Spanish. Exhibit support was provided in part by the N.C. Arboretum Society, Hilton Asheville Biltmore Park and Smoky Mountain Living Magazine. The exhibit was produced by the Florida Museum of Natural History with support from the AEC Trust, Lastinger Family Foundation, State of Florida and VisitGainesville.