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HomeNL-2019-04 14th Century Canoe

14th Century Dugout Canoe
April 18, 2019
by Linda Gorski

  Jeffrey Girard
Mark your calendars for the April 18th meeting of the Houston Archeological Society featuring a presentation by well-known Louisiana archeologist, Jeffrey Girard, who will discuss the recent exciting discovery and recovery of a 14th Century Dugout Canoe on the Red River. The meeting will be held on Thursday, April 18, 7:00 p.m. at the Trini Mendenhall Community Center  located at 1414 Wirt Road in the Spring Branch area. A social hour will begin at 6:30 with our monthly “show and tell”, snacks and conversation. The meeting is free of charge and open to the public. Please join us!!

Early in June 2017, a remarkable prehistoric dugout canoe was discovered on the banks of the Red River north of Shreveport, Louisiana. At 10.2 meters (about 34 feet) in length, it is the largest yet discovered in Louisiana, and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. A radiocarbon date indicates that the canoe was constructed in the 14th century, contemporary with an extensive Caddo settlement on the east side of the river. This presentation summarizes the challenges that confronted researchers and local volunteers for extracting the canoe from the riverbank and transporting it to Texas A&M university for conservation; and provides information about nearby Caddo village and ceremonial sites whose past inhabitants might have made and used the boat.


Jeffrey Girard (M.A. The University of Texas at Austin) was on the faculty at Northwestern State University of Louisiana and served as regional archaeologist for the Louisiana Division of Archaeology for more than 25 years. He worked with landowners in the identification and preservation of cultural resources on private and state land, carried out research projects, and promoted awareness of cultural resources through public presentations. He has published papers in several edited books and journals, and co-authored the book "Caddo Connections, Cultural Interactions within and beyond the Caddo World", 2014, Rowman & Littlefield. His book, "The Caddos and Their Ancestors, Archaeology and the Native People of Northwest Louisiana", was published by LSU Press in the spring of 2018. He currently is working on a grant from the Cane River National Heritage Area to organize collections and records at the Williamson Museum, Northwestern State University.

Parking at the Trini Mendenhall Center is free of charge. For more information about this meeting, please contact Linda Gorski, HAS president at

The author, Linda Gorski