Texas A&M researchers conserve nearly thousand-year-old canoe

BRYAN, Tex. (KBTX) Dr. Peter Fix, a watercraft conservator at Texas A&M's Conservation Research Laboratory is working to keep parts of American history alive.

At the laboratory, wooden boats dating back to 500 A.D. are being conserved.

"Historically and archaeologically, we find them very interesting and they are actually very good portals to the past that we can use in a program to discover and inspire," Fix said.

Fix discovered his passion for boats when he was only six years old, when his parents put him and his sister in a boat and told them to learn how to sail. He said he immediately fell in love and never looked back. One of the canoes Peter works on dates back 750 to 800 years.

"It is the largest single canoe dugout canoe that's been dug up in Louisiana," said Fix. "It's about 35 feet long and it's 100% intact and complete. The fashioners of this canoe were first Americans. There's still a little bit of question specifically which tribe it was. It was found in the Shreveport, Louisiana region, so most likely it was Caddo but we don't have anything specific to say that was the case."

Fix added that artifacts like these should be conserved to keep our history alive.

"Ships have a mystique or magnetism about them, whether it be the dugout canoe or the ship that was found under the World Trade Center, they are part of our history they are part of our world history." Fix said.

Once the canoe has undergone the entire conservation process, Fix said it will most likely be displayed in a museum in Shreveport, where the canoe was found.