Dufuna Boat: The 8,000 years oldest Canoe in Africa
Dufuna canoe. Photo: Ancient Black History
London, Jan. 27, 2018 (AltAfrika)-Since the Dufuna canoe was discovered by a local Fulani herdsman in 1987 archaeologists have been in a frenzy about the discovery. The canoe which was excavated by a combined team of Nigerian and German archeologists in 1994 at Dufuna, has continued to amaze them, for the simple reason that it has changed the course of history. Dufuna is a village along the Komodugu Gana river in Fune local government area of Yobe State, Nigeria.
The boat was dug out from a depth of five meters beneath the earth’s surface and measured 8.4 meters in length, 0.5 meters wide and about 5 cm thick varying at certain parts of the surface. The age of the boat has been put at about 8000 – 8500 years old (6000 – 6500 B.C.E.), thus, becoming the oldest boat in Africa and second oldest on earth. It predates the Egyptian Solar Boat by over 2000 years. The canoe belongs to the Late Stone Age period (Neolithic Age), when humans ceased to roam the face of the earth hunting to become herdsmen and cultivators and in the process becoming modifiers of their environment, with complex social structures, in response to new problems and ways of dealing with situations. Above right: Dufuna Boat, Dufuna, Northern Nigeria.
But more importantly, “the canoe has shown that people in the Niger area had a history of advanced technology and that they had mastered the three major items of neolithic culture which included the fashioning, standardization and utilization of tools according to set traditions. “It gives concrete evidence of transportation by seas as well as providing evidence of some form of long distance commercial activities indicative of existing political and economic structures.”