Latvian museum's tiny boat turns out to be far older than expected

Carbon dating of an item in the collection of the National History Museum of Latvia has thrown up a surprise with a small boat recovered from a swamp turning out to be far more ancient than initially thought, reported Latvian Radio November 18.

Along with some mammoth teeth which were being sent to Poland for analysis to determine their age, archaeologists sent a fragment of a small sacred wooden boat found in the preserving peat of Brendiku swamp.

Dug up in the late 19th century, until now it was considered to be a late Iron Age artifact. But the result of the dating analysis shows a different, much older date than previously assumed, says Jānis Ciglis, an archaeological researcher with the museum.

“The ash wood timber boat, about 50 centimeters long, was considered a boat of the 10th century, but I thought it might be older - perhaps around the start of the Christian era. But it turned out to be even older, dating back to 7,000 BC. It is a unique antique throughout Eastern and Northern Europe. One of the best preserved ancient wooden containers in Europe. So it's a very unique item because we don't have such good Mesolithic items,” Ciglis told Latvian Radio.

Many other unique archaeological artefacts have been found in the territory of Latvia, for which the exact dates are still undetermined, leading to the possibility of more such surprises in the future.

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