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15 hundred-year-old Canoe discovered in Assumption Parish

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ASSUMPTION PARISH- It's been nearly a year since Jamie Ponville found something interesting in the dirt.

“I was digging in my borrow pit, and I discovered a V-shaped pattern in the dirt, and I knew right away what it was I knew it was a dugout canoe,” said Ponville.

When Ponville discovered the dug-out canoe in October of 2017, he knew he needed to call in a professional. He called State Archaeologist Dr. Chip McGimsey.

“A colleague and I came out and helped him record it and document it, but we weren't in a position to remove it and didn't know where it could be preserved then, so we basically reburied it,” said Ponville.

With carbon dating, they determined the canoe is around 15-hundred years old, dating back to somewhere between 450 and 620 AD.

“So after that my wife and I spoke, and we could not let the oldest canoe in the state of Louisiana or the surrounding states go unpreserved,” said Ponville.

Now, nearly a year after he first found it, Ponville, some of his friends, and members of the Chittimacha tribe are literally pulling history out of the dirt.

“I'm just here helping out. I'll probably never see something 14-15 hundred years old again,” said Clyde Landry, friend of Ponville.

“It was an awesome feeling finding it. I was very anxious to get it up out of the ground because it's been almost a year now and I'm just glad everyone showed up to help and showed up to witness this historical event right here in Assumption Parish,” said Ponville.

The canoe is heading to Texas A&M to be preserved, which is a three-to-five-year process. That process will help the canoe last many more years.

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