500 Year Old Canoe

In 1988, a 500 year old dugout canoe was found near Parris Island, an island off southern South Carolina. Recently, the fragments of this canoe were sent to the MAC Lab for treatment in our large (12 foot x 4 foot) freeze dryer. Since 1988, the wood fragments have been kept wet in South Carolina where they were also treated with polyethylene glycol, a substance which displaces the water in the cells of the wood so that the cells will not collapse during the freeze drying process. Freeze drying the canoe fragments will take approximately two months and then they will be sent back to South Carolina, reconstructed, and put on display at the Parris Island Museum, a facility that focuses on the history of the island from prehistory through the present.

Dugout canoe fragments loaded into the freeze dryer.

Detail of top shelf of freeze dryer.


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