A treasure hunt for the past – What is it like to dive for bones in Alexandria’s Lake Victoria ?

Posted: 08/27/2011 in all marine news

Wendy Wilson –

They were looking for bones.

The waters shone like glass Tuesday afternoon as we journeyed across Lake Victoria in Alexandria fishing guide Roger Van Surksum’s speedboat to the dive site on the southwest end of the lake.

Van Surksum took the helm while divers Wayne Wagner and Wesley Torgrimson readied for another dive, perhaps their last search for bison bones at the site before state archaeologists took charge of the area.

“Here I sit, with that curiosity bugging me – retired and nothing else to do, but think about history,” Van Surksum said of finding the first bone. “It could be way bigger than I had imagined.”

Excitement shone on their faces as Torgrimson and Wagner donned scuba gear. Each man carried about 60 pounds of weight on his back, including a tank, to keep him from rising to the surface.

“You always think it is boring in Minnesota, but when you find stuff like this, it’s not,” Wagner said with a smile. “There is all this history around here. It’s so exciting.”

It was a treasure hunt with a historical prize. With each bone discovered, a piece of the past was unearthed – a filament of a life long gone, but just beneath our feet.

It was time to start the search.

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