Three local teens discovered sunken treasures in North Carolina

The waters of North Carolina hold stories of ancient Indians and pirates who sailed the seas and walked the lands. Recently, a 1000-year-old dugout canoe was discovered close to where the French slave ship, La Concorde, was recovered in the 18th century after being grounded in shallow waters by the infamous pirate Blackbeard.

The canoe, which predates Queen Anne’s Revenge by hundreds of years, was pulled from Lake Waccamaw, two and a half hours southwest of Beaufort Inlet. This discovery is a priceless treasure to the Waccamaw Siouan Indians of North Carolina, who view the canoe as a part of their history that they are still exploring and understanding.

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The canoe was found by three local teens who were swimming in the lake. After contacting The North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, the canoe was submerged in muddy waters for two years to preserve it.

Dozens of members of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe were present when the canoe was brought to the surface. The Waccamaw Siouans were present in southeastern North Carolina long before colonists made contact with their tribe, as evidenced by the canoe.

Another 23-foot canoe, carbon-dated to be 940 years old, was pulled from the same lake in October 2022, belonging to the Waccamaw Siouan Indians. The Fort Fisher Historic Site helped recover the large dugout canoe and explained how ancient Indians would make these simple yet effective watercrafts.

The artifacts from Queen Anne’s Revenge can be seen at the conservation lab, and the canoe will be treated at the same lab before being returned to the Waccamaw Siouan tribal grounds in Buckhead, NC. These discoveries are a testament to the amazing history that lies buried and preserved in the waters of North Carolina.