The Dufuna Dugout - Africa's Oldest Boat

by Peter Breunig

In 1987 the find of a fully preserved boat was made at the site of Dufuna, between Potiskum and Gashua on the Komadugu Gana. The boat is stratified 5 m below clays and sands whose alternating sequence is evidence of deposition in standing and flowing water. The radiocarbon dates for the boat are: 7264 55 bp (KN-4683) and 7670 110 bp (KI-3587) (uncalibrated). This makes it the oldest known boat in Africa and one of the oldest in the world. Excavation is scheduled for April 1998. The conservation will be done in a museum recently built in Damaturu.

P. Breunig, The 8000-year-old dugout canoe from Dufuna (NE Nigeria). In: G. Pwiti and R. Soper (eds.), Aspects of African Archaeology. Papers from the 10th Congress of the PanAfrican Association for Prehistory and related Studies. University of Zimbabwe Publications (Harare 1996) 461-468.

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