sail-world.com
 
 
News Home Cruising Photo Gallery Video Gallery
Sail-World.com : New theory: Neanderthals were great sailors
New theory: Neanderthals were great sailors

'Were Neanderthals sailors?'    .

Last week Sail-World published a story about a 4,500-year-old Egyptian felucca being restored from a burial site. But that story pales considerably if the findings of an archaeologist, George Ferentinos of the University of Patras in Greece, are found to be true. He says that Neanderthals sailed the Mediterranean possibly hundreds of thousands of years ago, long before humans.

Neanderthals, considered either a sub-species of modern humans or a separate species altogether, lived from approximately 300,000 years ago to somewhere near 24,000 years ago, when they inexplicably disappeared, leaving behind traces of their DNA in some Middle Eastern people and artifacts strewn all across the southern part of Europe and extending into western Asia.

Some of those artifacts, stone tools that are uniquely associated with them, have been found on the Greek islands of Lefkada, Kefalonia and Zakynthos, suggesting, according to Ferentinos and his colleagues, that Neanderthals had figured out how to travel by boat.

The presence of the tools could be explained in two ways: either the islands weren't islands at the time, or the Neanderthals crossed the water somehow. But Ferentinos compiled data that showed the sea at that time, in spite of considerably lower levels, would still have been at least 180 metres deep.

The journeys to the Greek islands from the mainland were quite short, 5 to 12 kilometres, but similar stone tools have been found on Crete, which are at least 130,000 years old. Crete has been an island for some 5 million years and is 40 kilometres from its closest neighbour - suggesting far more ambitious journeys.

Therefore Ferentinos thinks Neanderthals had a seafaring culture for tens of thousands of years. Modern humans are thought to have taken to the seas just 50,000 years ago, on crossing to Australia. The oldest known Mediterranean boat, a dugout canoe from Lake Bracciano in Italy, is just 7000 years old. Ferentinos speculates that Neanderthals may have made something similar.

If true, that would mean Neanderthal people were sailing around in the Mediterranean for fifty thousand years before modern humans built their first boat.

Others have suggested that hominids have been sailing for as long as a million years; stone tools found on the Indonesian island of Flores date back as far as that. It could be that both modern humans and Neanderthals were boating around for hundreds of thousands of years and we just don’t have any evidence of it because the boats back then would have been made of wood.

Evidence of their existence would have decayed to nothing long ago.


by Sail-World Cruising/phys.org

  

Click on the FB Like link to post this story to your FB wall

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=94471

9:50 PM Thu 1 Mar 2012GMT


Click here for printer friendly version
Click here to send us feedback or comments about this story.

Click for further information on
Environment and the ocean

Related News Stories:

06 Mar 2012  Gulf of Aden crossing and a pirate rendezvous - PlanetSolar
11 Feb 2012  America pauses on E15 - study bill passes
03 Feb 2012  Whales, whales and more whales in Southern California
17 Jan 2012  Solar ship PlanetSolar takes security forces for Gulf of Aden crossing
15 Jan 2012  Adventure sailing and marine protection - OceansWatch's winning combo
14 Jan 2012  Whale Wars - Australian protesters transferred from Japanese whaler
09 Jan 2012  Marina sets example with solar farm
07 Jan 2012  Plastic pollution: Have you caught a 'bagfish' lately?
27 Dec 2011  Christmas Day Clash: Sea Shepherd Drones find Japanese Whaling Fleet
24 Dec 2011  World's largest solar yacht skirts pirate waters, arrives Qatar
MORE STORIES ...






News - USA and the World



























Big Boat Series - It's not the size, it's the length by Erik Simonson, Pressure-Drop.US,




















470 Men and Women Worlds - Champs take over leaderboard by 470 International Association Class,




















ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Medal Race images by Sail-World.com
ISAF Sailing Worlds - Dutch dominate Laser and Radial in Santander
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing more than doubles overall lead
J/24 World Championship - Excitement builds for Newport racing
Volvo Ocean Race - Seb Marsset joins Team Alvimedica
Fall Seamanship training opportunities at New York Yacht Club
Rolex Big Boat Series: More images from San Francisco - Final Day
AWT Hatteras Wave Jam action commences on day 3
Rolex Big Boat Series: Images from San Francisco - Final Day
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Watch medal races live here
Hobie 16 Open North American Championships and Pan Am Games qualifier
ISAF Sailing World Championship - Videos from Santander
ISAF Sailing Worlds: Buckingham into Medal Race, 470's stay consistent
470 Men and Women Worlds - Vadlau and Ogar into pole position
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Defending champion on top
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Strong competition for RS:X fleets
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Big breeze on day 6 + Video
ISAF Sailing Worlds, Santander - Buckingham into Laser Medal Race
U.S. Multihull Championship - Hobie Alter Trophy to be decided
ISAF Sailing Worlds - The kind of form most sailors only dream about
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Quantum Racing ahead of target   
ISAF Worlds Santander - 19 Rio 2016 Laser Radial spots awarded   
Santander 2014 ISAF Worlds - 21 broadcasters to take live coverage   
Rolex Swan Cup - Looking forward to the next 30 years   
America’s Cup: The Future is foiling – AC45s to be modified   
Volvo Ocean Race: Win a stopover trip by designing an ECsix T-Shirt   
Red Bull 49erFX: On the eve of the Worlds in Santander   
America's Cup: Ben Ainslie Racing launches partnership with Yamaha   
2014 Chicago Match Cup - Starts tomorrow   
Rio 2016 Daylight the issue for Olympic sailing regatta   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - USA 470's and Lasers battle at top   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander - Day 5 video highlights   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Santander images by Jesús Renedo   
PWA Cold Hawaii World Cup - No action on day 2   
470 Men and Women Worlds - Game on for Olympic Qualification   
ISAF Sailing World Championships: Finns off to slow start in Santander   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - Seesaw Day 5 in Santander + Video   
ISAF Sailing World Championships - 470 sailors shine in Santander   
Royal Cup Marina Ibiza - Kiwi Ray Davies returns to TP52 fleet   
Starboard Hatteras Wave Jam - No windsurfing action on day 1   


For this week's complete news stories select    Last 7 Days
   Search All News
For last month's complete news stories select    Last 30 Days
   Archive News







Sail-World.com  


















Switch Default Region to:

Social Media

Asia

Australia

Canada

Europe

New Zealand

United Kingdom


http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/Twitter_logo_small.png http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/FaceBook-icon.png  http://www.sail-world.com/event_images/image/RSS-Icon.png

United States

Cruising Northern

Cruising Southern

MarineBusiness World

PowerBoat World

FishingBoating World

 

Contact

Commercial

News

Search

Contact Us

Advertisers Information

Submit news/events

Search Stories/Text

Feedback

Advertisers Directory

Newsletter Archive

Photo Gallery

 

Banner Advertising Details

Newsletter Subscribe

Video Gallery

Policies

 

 

 

Privacy Policy

 

 


Cookie Policy

 

 



This site and its contents are © Copyright TetraMedia and/or the original author, photographer etc. All Rights Reserved.  Photographs are copyright by law.  If you wish to use or buy a photograph contact the photographer directly.
XLXL NEW US
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT