TRAVEL: Curator calls for research on 8,000 yr old Nigerian canoe

A Canoe
By Rabiu Sani

Aisha Jidda, a curator at the National Museum, Maiduguri, has called for further studies on the 8,000 year-old Dafuna canoe discovered in Yobe State.

Ms. Jidda told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Saturday in Maiduguri that this would provide indepth intellectual explanation about African civilization.

“It is the oldest boat; it is 8, 000 plus or minus a hundred years and this was done through radio-carbon dating by two reputable universities in Germany that is 8, 100 or 7, 900 years old. It is the oldest of its kind in Africa and the third in the world.

“You can imagine that if in Africa we can have something like this we need to preserve it.

“Professionals like engineers, botanists, geographers and specialists in other fields would able to carry out research on the technologies involved and look at the composition of the type of wood that the canoe was made up.

“You can imagine something beneath the ground to stay that long period of time without decay.”

NAN reports that Dufuna canoe was discovered in 1987 by a Fulani herdsman while digging a well at Dufuna village in Fune Local Government Area of Yobe State.

Radiocarbon dating studies of sample of charcoal found near the site dates the canoe at between 8, 000 and 8, 500 years-old. The studies also linked the site to Lake Chad.

It is the oldest boat to be discovered in Africa, and the third oldest in the world.

The antiquity is currently been preserved at the National Museum, Damaturu.


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Ms. Jidda stressed that the study might lead to further discovery around the Lake Chad basin and provides more information about the people inhibiting the region.

Ms. Jidda decried the poor attitude of Nigerians to artefacts, cultural values and traditions, noting that comprehensive studies of the antiquities could provide solution to problems bedevilling the continent.



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