It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.

Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.

Thank you.

 

Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.

 

130,000 years ago, Ancient Hominids May Have Been Seafarers

page: 1
3

log in

join
share:

posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 03:41 PM
link   
Ancient hominids may have been seafarers

130,000 year-old Hand axes excavated on Crete suggest hominids made sea crossings to go 'out of Africa'


ANAHEIM, Calif. — Human ancestors that left Africa hundreds of thousands of years ago to see the rest of the world were no landlubbers. Stone hand axes unearthed on the Mediterranean island of Crete indicate that an ancient Homo species — perhaps Homo erectus — had used rafts or other seagoing vessels to cross from northern Africa to Europe via at least some of the larger islands in between, says archaeologist Thomas Strasser of Providence College in Rhode Island.

Several hundred double-edged cutting implements discovered at nine sites in southwestern Crete date to at least 130,000 years ago and probably much earlier, Strasser reported January 7 at the annual meeting of the American Institute of Archaeology. Many of these finds closely resemble hand axes fashioned in Africa about 800,000 years ago by H. erectus, he says. It was around that time that H. erectus spread from Africa to parts of Asia and Europe.



“We’re just going to have to accept that, as soon as hominids left Africa, they were long-distance seafarers and rapidly spread all over the place,” Strasser says. Other researchers have controversially suggested that H. erectus navigated rafts across short stretches of sea in Indonesia around 800,000 years ago and that Neandertals crossed the Strait of Gibraltar perhaps 60,000 years ago.


This ties in nicely with the "wet phases" of the Sahara, and human and/or H.Erectus/Neanderthal migration into and out of Africa:

Wet phases in the Sahara/Sahel region and human migration patterns in North Africa


"...northwest Africa reveals three periods during the past 192,000 years when the central Sahara/Sahel contained C3 plants (likely trees), indicating substantially wetter conditions than at present."


At least the wet phases help explain where the raw material for rafts came from. The dating of the stone age tools to 130,000 years ago also means accepting these ancient hominids were indeed using rafts to reach these Med. islands.




posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 03:47 PM
link   
More likely they walked there, as at that time the Mediterranean Sea wouldn't have been there. Seems like I remember reading that it formed much like the Black Sea did, except the brach came at Gibraltar.



posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 05:37 PM
link   
I am now a proponent of the Ancient Argonaut theory!

"Submarines of the Gods"?



posted on Jan, 9 2010 @ 06:01 PM
link   
They recognize "coastal plains" off of Africa and Italy as extensive during low sea levels, but not to the point Crete was a connected land mass to the continent.

www.jstor.org...

Doggerland is a good example of a coastal plain the connected the English isles to the continent.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 04:28 PM
link   
I've always been one to espouse the idea of Homo Erectus as seafarer. I love the idea, but there's no evidence for it, of course.

Harte



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 05:22 PM
link   
Slightly off-topic but a free handy downloadable reference:

www.scribd.com...

and this is semi-relevant:

www.socgeol.info...



posted on Jan, 12 2010 @ 07:16 PM
link   
This is really good stuff. I am going to be keeping a close eye on the developments of the discovery. Should further, and much more concrete, evidence emerge I would be very interested in finding out just how the seafaring technology emerged and evolved between 800,000 and 130,000 years ago.

Thank you for the information OP.



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 12:19 AM
link   

Originally posted by aletheia
Should further, and much more concrete, evidence emerge I would be very interested in finding out just how the seafaring technology emerged and evolved between 800,000 and 130,000 years ago.

Well regardless of the evidence, I guess we're “going to have to accept that, as soon as hominids left Africa, they were long-distance seafarers and rapidly spread all over the place”.

But I'm not quite so sure how 670,000 years qualify as "rapidly"? I just cant wrap my head around the article. Was it quick or did it take hundreds of thousands of years?



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 01:05 AM
link   

Originally posted by Blackmarketeer
They recognize "coastal plains" off of Africa and Italy as extensive during low sea levels, but not to the point Crete was a connected land mass to the continent.



Yeah but there was a lot more exposed. Here, this is from my THREAD.


Ancient Aegean






[edit on 13-1-2010 by SLAYER69]



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 01:20 AM
link   
reply to post by Blackmarketeer
 


I love things like this. It always inspires me to know that new discoveries about our origins are being made. For hundreds of thousands of years human beings lived without written records other than the occasional cave painting and only now are those enigmatic times coming to light with discoveries like this.

The human journey is truly an incredible one and this is just the tip of the ice berg. Who knows what went on for the 200,000 years (give or take) that our species has been around? I'm guessing it was A LOT more than we give our ancestors credit for...



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 01:24 AM
link   
On a biological note I seem to recall New Scientist doing an article on our ancestors and their relationship with the ocean. Seems that much of our brains development could be attributed to a diet containing fish oils and fatty acids. It was around the year Y2K...lemme look it up.

Here it is:

'Taking the Plunge', Kate Douglas, New Scientist, 25.11.2000, pp 28 -33

Seems the article isn't just about the brains development as I recalled. Looks like a proper established theory that man was water based for a while. Well worth a read and is in full support of the theory put out by the OP.

-m0r



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 03:12 AM
link   
m0r1arty, you beat me to it, I planned to link that article since it seems their diet indicates they had the capability to build sea-worthy rafts or boats.


Well regardless of the evidence, I guess we're “going to have to accept that, as soon as hominids left Africa, they were long-distance seafarers and rapidly spread all over the place”.

But I'm not quite so sure how 670,000 years qualify as "rapidly"? I just cant wrap my head around the article. Was it quick or did it take hundreds of thousands of years?


That's probably beyond the scope of the article, but they know for certain that by 130,000 YBP that hominids reached Crete and left tools behind. It's one thing to theorize they had sea faring capabilities but this offers proof of it.

[edit on 13-1-2010 by Blackmarketeer]



posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 04:40 AM
link   
Seaside Living, Eritrea, World Press, 6 May 2000,


Seaside living, Eritrea: It now seems that humans have been living by the sea and using boats for at least 125,000 years. The earliest known seaside settlement has been identified via the use of stone tools on the Red Sea coast of Eritrea. Further work may help establish how humans fanned out from Africa to settle in other parts of the world? The finding was made by Dr. Robert Walker of the Centre of Scientific Investigation in Ensenada, Mexico. Humans were also living at the same time in Israel, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Sudan. The new finding supports the "out of Africa" theory of single human evolution. Humans reached Australia at least 60,000 years ago, and modern humans are thought to have reached Europe about 45,000 years ago, to live beside Neandertals. (Reported in world press 6 May 2000)


How far back do our "sea-faring ways" go?

Take a look at this anthropological theory, suggesting our evolution is partly due to proximity to water:
Aquarboreal ancestors?

Human evolution is usually discussed within an environmental framework that includes forests and savannahs [1–3]. Unique human features, such as bipedalism and furlessness, are therefore often argued to have evolved in forests, on the savannah, or within a transitional zone [1–3]. We argue that a third environmental factor, namely water, also played an important role in the evolution of the great apes and humans. Our ‘comparative approach’, a method pioneered by Hardy [4] and Morgan [5], combines comparative data with fossil, geographical and biomolecular evidence. We argue that the ancestors of gorillas, chimpanzees and humans had an ‘aquarboreal’ lifestyle in which they climbed and waded in swampy or coastal forests. Gorilla and chimpanzee ancestors adapted to drier forests where they knuckle-walked and continued to climb and wade where necessary. Human ancestors, however, evolved fully upright and linear bipedalism, furlessness, a larger brain and voluntary breath control as adaptations for wading and diving in a coastal environment. Climbing abilities became less important as coastal forests dwindled and seafood became a more important dietary source.


Their conclusion and hypothesis for further research is provocative, hinting that our development was strongly influenced by our evolution in and near waterways, even our infants "tolerance to immersion" and our voluntary breath control.

Is it that much of a stretch to see that even our more primitive hominid forebears see the value of a raft or dugout to facilitate their inter-coastal existence, even if it started with nothing more than a mat of reeds.

We also have examples of ancient boat building by stone age modern man;

The Dufuna Dugout - Africa's Oldest Boat - dated to 8000-9000 BC

World's Oldest Boat Found in Desert




posted on Jan, 13 2010 @ 04:24 PM
link   
Any thoughts if ancient early modern man may have learned his sea-faring skills from the Neanderthal or Erectus? Maybe a case of monkey-see, monkey-do?



new topics

top topics



 
3

log in

join