RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina's Office of State Archaeology received a donated piece of driftwood last week that was collected by a beachgoer decades ago and could date back to the Civil War-era, according to experts.
Someone brought the piece of timber to the agency Friday morning, the archaeology office said in a Facebook post. Photos showed a thin, curved piece of weathered wood more than several feet long with multiple holes and markings.
It had been collected in the coastal community of Kure Beach, about 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Wilmington, by the donor's friend more than 40 years ago, according to the post. Examiners determined the holes and other signs of wearing along the timber suggested it was part of a ship that “had a long working life" and could have been used as early as the 19th century, officials wrote.
The grain pattern appeared to show it was live oak, which points to why the chunk of wood could have held up over time, according to the post, and also indicated that the ship may have been made locally.
“All of this fits the bill of a coastal trading schooner, used in North Carolina for a lengthy span of time for activities from fishing to running blockades in the civil war,” state archaeology officials said in the post.
State officials haven't said what will be done with the find.