posted on Feb, 27 2004 @ 09:48 AM
People in North America were voyaging by sea some 8,000 years ago, boosting a theory that some of the continent's first settlers arrived there by
boat. That is the claim of archaeologists who have found evidence of ancient seafaring along the Californian coast. The traditional view holds that
the first Americans were trekkers from Siberia who crossed a land bridge into Alaska during the last Ice Age. The report in American Antiquity makes
arrival by boat seem more plausible. Researchers conducted an archaeological analysis of 9,000-8,000-year-old tools unearthed at Eel Point on San
Clemente, one of the eight Channel Islands that lie off the Californian coast. They propose that some tools used by the prehistoric people of Eel
Point may have had the same functions as implements employed for boat-building by Chumash Indians in the early 20th Century.
For example, a triangular "reamer" tool from Eel Point closely resembles a Chumash "canoe drill" used to expand an existing hole in a wood plank.
On this basis, archaeologists Mark Raab, Jim Cassidy and Nina Kononenko argue that the inhabitants of Eel Point were accomplished seafarers.