Dufuna Canoe is a canoe discovered in 1987 by a Fulani cattle herdsman a few kilometers from the village of Dufuna in the Fune Local Government Area, not far from the Komadugu Gana River, in Yobe State, Nigeria. Radiocarbon dating of a sample of charcoal found near the site dates the canoe at 8500 to 8000 years old, linking the site to Lake Mega Chad.
It is the oldest boat to be discovered in Africa, and the second oldest known worldwide. The canoe is currently in Damaturu, the state capital.
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The Dufuna canoe from Nigeria is an 8000-year-old dugout, the oldest boat discovered in Africa, and the third-oldest worldwide. The well-watered tropical rainforest and woodland regions of sub-Saharan Africa provide both the waterways and the trees for dugout canoes, which are commonplace from the Limpopo River basin in the south through East and Central Africa and across to West Africa. African Teak is the timber favoured for their construction, though this comprises a number of different species, and is in short supply in some areas. Dugouts are paddled across deep lakes and rivers or punted through channels in swamps (see makoro) or in shallow areas, and are used for transport, fishing and hunting, including, in the past, the very dangerous hunting of hippopotamus. Dugouts are called pirogues in Francophone areas of Africa.
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Dugouts are the oldest boats archaeologists have found, dating back about 8,000 years to the Neolithic Stone Age. This is probably because they are made of massive pieces of wood, which tend to preserve better than, e.g., bark canoes. Along with bark canoe and hide kayak, dugout boats were also used by indigenous peoples of the Americas.