57.—Ancient British Canoes. [details]

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57.—Ancient British Canoes.



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Some of the Roman writers might lead us to believe that the Britons had boats capable of distant navigation; but this is doubted by most careful inquirers. But the light boats which were peculiar to the island were certainly of a construction well suited to their objects; for Cæsa, in his History of the Civil War, tells us that he had learnt their use in Britain, and availed himself of boats of a similar formation in crossing rivers in Spain. These were probably canoes, hollowed out of a single tree. Such have been found, from seven to eight feet long, in morasses and in the beds of rivers, at very distant parts of the country—in Dumfries, and in the marshes of the Medway. In 1834 a boat of this description was discovered in a creek of the river Arun, in the village of North Stoke, Sussex (Fig. 57). In draining the Martine Mere, or Marton Lake, in Lancashire, eight canoes, each formed of a single tree, were found sunk deep in the mud and sand.” (p. 22)

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135 x 60mm (5.3 x 2.4 inches)

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2400 dots per inch


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