Tests Suggest Age of Prehistoric Naples Canal

May 20, 2014

Credit Courtesy Archaeological and Historical Conservancy

The results of a recent archaeological dig in Naples reveal prehistoric Native Americans created a canal dating back to at least 800 to 1,100 A.D.

Robert Carr, executive director of the Archaeological and Historical Conservancy, said indigenous people used the canal as a shortcut and probably for transporting goods.

This is the second recent excavation and radiocarbon testing of the canal.

In 2011, the conservancy collected its first sample after using ground-penetrating radar to find the canal’s location.

Carr said the site is part of a complex web of canals in southern Florida.

“These canals are the only transportation canals in North America outside of Mexico. So, in that sense they are a major engineering marvel that indigenous people have constructed,” he said.

Carr and the conservancy hope to collect more samples to test this year.