The Addergoole Dug Out Canoe

17 Sep

While walking through the museum, the large Addergoole Dug Out Canoe immediately caught my attention. Its vast size is impossible to ignore. It is over fifteen meters long and was made from a hollowed out Oak tree. The task of hollowing out such a large tree would have required extensive amounts of work, especially with the stone tools from the time. One historian from the National Museum believes that the extensive work needed to make it suggests the canoe has more value than an average canoe from the time  – possibly belonging to a ruling or elite member of the tribe or society it came from.

It comes from the Bronze age and is probably about 4,000 years old. It was found and preserved in a bog, which was likely a small lake at that time. The canoe was necessary for travel at the time, when rivers were much easier to navigate than the densely wooded Ireland of that era. The canoe was likely not used on the sea – as most boats for that purpose would use a combination of wood and skin.

The canoe offers evidence of a very different landscape of Ireland than now. The canoe was probably hollowed out from an Oak tree even larger than canoe – showing how large the trees on the island were at the time. The size difference and the density of the forests also proves some climate change – as the current climate would be too cold to support such an environment.

– Drew Pomerleau


Moriarty, Colm. “Bronze Age Dugout Canoe, circa 2200 BC.” Irish Bronze Age Canoe. Irish Archaeology, 7 Apr. 2011. Web. 17 Sept. 2013.


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