National Museum – Dugout Canoe

26 Jan

The dugout canoe was  used in Ireland during the Bronze Age and through the Middle Ages in Ireland. This particular canoe was made from a hollowed oak tree and measures 15.25m in length, which makes it one of the largest in all of Europe. It caught my eye because it was such a long canoe and must have taken a great deal of time for people to make it and how efficiently they used the resources around them in nature.  You can tell by observing the boat that they were smart in making the boat and how to make the design work.  One reason why it’s so long is because it could carry individuals as well as supplies, which was ideal.  According to an article by Fintan O’Toole, the general assumption for what these boats were used for is long-distance travel.  This assumption makes me question how well it traveled long distances and if it was difficult to direct since the canoe was so long?  Also since they did not need a  lot of supplies to construct one – just an oak tree and some sharp tools  – no special necessities were needed.  The Bronze age comes before the Iron Age where ideas and objects became stronger and much sturdier.  Therefore I’m assuming boats evolved more in the Iron Age.

Comparing this to another vessel that was in the museum was night and day as far as the evolution of technology is concerned.  The other boat was a replica of Gokstad Faering that dated back to 800 A.D. and was used as a fishing boat.  This boat differs from the canoe in that it is wider, incorporated more materials besides oak, not as long, and has a strong sail to help with direction.  This makes me think the tools were better and that people learned from previous boats on how to improve and be more efficient.

These boats are similar to technology right now where it just keeps on evolving and becoming better with each year that passes.

Link to Fintan O’Toole’s article – http://irisharchaeology.ie/2011/04/new-beginings/

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