News Home Video Gallery Newsletters Photo Gallery Cruising Int
Sail-World.com : Sailing the Oceans - not as modern as we thought
Sailing the Oceans - not as modern as we thought

'Were they sailors as well?'    .

Leisure sailing as we know it may have begun a mere 150 years ago or so, but researchers across the world are now becoming more and more convinced that Neanderthals, or even older homo erectus, knew how to cross seas and oceans by boat.

Neanderthals lived around the Mediterranean from 300,000 years ago. Their distinctive 'Mousterian' stone tools are found on the Greek mainland and, intriguingly, have also been found on the Greek islands of Lefkada, Kefalonia and Zakynthos. That could be explained in two ways: either the islands weren't islands at the time, or our distant cousins crossed the water somehow.

In March this year, George Ferentinos of the University of Patras in Greece said we can rule out the former. The islands, he said, have been cut off from the mainland for as long as the tools have been on them.

Ferentinos compiled data that showed sea levels were 120 metres lower 100,000 years ago, because water was locked up in Earth's larger ice caps. But the seabed off Greece today drops down to around 300 metres, meaning that when Neanderthals were in the region, the sea would have been at least 180 metres deep (Journal of Archaeological Science, DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2012.01.032).

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 journeys to the Greek islands from the mainland were quite short - 5 to 12 kilometres - but according to Thomas Strasser of Providence College in Rhode Island, the Neanderthals didn't stop there. In 2008 he found similar stone tools on Crete, which he says 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.

Strasser agrees Neanderthals were seafaring long before modern humans, in the Mediterranean at least. He thinks early hominins made much more use of the sea than anyone suspects, and may have used the seas as a highway, rather than seeing them as a barrier. But the details remain lost in history. Any craft were presumably made from wood, so rotted away long ago. 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.

New Study:
Now there is a new study from Washington that agrees: This study has provided new evidence which suggests that 'Upright Man' might have sailed around the Mediterranean, stopping at islands such as Crete and Cyprus.

Other evidence outside of the Mediterranean supports that pre-Neolithic humans could sail. Researchers have pointed out that these individuals 'must have been able to cross substantial expanses of sea to reach Australia by at least 50,000 years ago.

'Additionally, findings from the Indonesian Wallacea islands suggest the presence of hominins as early as 1.1 million years ago on Flores Island.'

'They had to have had boats of some sort; unlikely they swam,' Discovery News quoted Alan Simmons, lead author of a study about the find, as writing in this week’s Science.

'Many of the islands had no land-bridges, thus they must have had the cognitive ability to both build boats and know how to navigate them,' he added.

Simmons, a professor of anthropology at the University of Nevada, added that there is no direct evidence for boats dating back to over 100,000 years ago. If they were built then, the wood or other natural materials likely eroded.

However, other clues hint that modern humans may not have been the first to set foot on Mediterranean islands.

On Crete, for example, tools such as quartz hand-axes, picks and cleavers are associated with deposits that may date to 170,000 years ago.

Excavations at an Akrotiri site on Cyprus have turned up ancient thumbnail scrapers and other tools dating to beyond 9,000 years ago. There is also a huge assembly of fossils for a dwarf pygmy hippopotamus, which might have been a good food for the earlier islanders. It’s possible they hunted the small, plump animal to extinction.

'Conventional wisdom used to be that none of these islands had too much settlement prior to the Neolithic because the islands were too impoverished to have supported permanent occupation. This likely is untrue. Hunters and gatherers can be pretty creative,' Simmons said.

Thomas Strasser, an associate professor in the Department of Art and Art History at Providence College, told Discovery that he believes 'future research will confirm recent discoveries that hominids reached the Mediterranean islands when they first left Africa. I believe the Homo erectus radiation out of Africa was both terrestrial and maritime.'

Letter from Reader:
Sender: kim Klaka

Message: Article states''Mousterian' stone tools are found on the Greek mainland and, intriguingly, have also been found on the Greek islands of Lefkada, Kefalonia and Zakynthos. That could be explained in two ways: either the islands weren't islands at the time, or our distant cousins crossed the water somehow.'

I suggest there is a third possibility: the tools were developed independently and simultaneously at the two locations. This happens a lot with technology, even today. I have seen it occur several times in my profession and is simply the result of similarly trained people being exposed to new materials or concepts.


by Sail-World Cruising round-up

  

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

http://www.sail-world.com/index.cfm?nid=103893

9:10 PM Sun 18 Nov 2012GMT


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







Cruising USA

'One of Canada's greatest mysteries has been solved,' said that country's Prime Minister Stephen Harper earlier this month upon news that the wreck of one of two ships famously lost in a mid-19th-century Arctic expedition has likely been located. ... [more]  

British couple help stranded Syrian refugees to safety by BBC News - Sally Taft and Richard Irvine-Brown
In the week that police in Cyprus had to persuade nearly 300 Syrian migrants to disembark from the cruise ship that had rescued them, one couple experienced a migrant rescue first-hand. Stephanie Kershaw-Marsh and husband Andy have spent the summer cruising on their boat around the coast of Turkey and Greece. ... [more]  

Michael Thurston, the owner of the Australian yacht Drina, sent us a message from Nome, Alaska, to inform us that he and his crew had reached the Pacific Ocean thus successfully completing a transit of the Northwest Passage. A late opening of the Bellot Strait allowed Drina to reach the central part of the Northwest Passage only by mid-September. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet departed the Cocos (Keeling) Islands this morning, embarking on the second longest sail of their circumnavigation; a 2350 nautical miles journey to Mauritius. Their stay in the tropical atoll has certainly been one to remember. ... [more]  

Pantaenius, the world’s leading specialist yacht insurance company, has been at the forefront of yacht insurance for more than 40 years, earning a reputation for transparency and commitment to customer service that provides round-the-clock international support and reliable, speedy claims settlement. ... [more]  

How to make a distance scale for faster navigation by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
If you are anything like me, sailing navigation can be a challenge when short- or single-handed sailing. But you still need to be able to plot fast and accurate positions for sailing safety. Here one little-known sailing tip used by the pros that will help you do just that! ... [more]  

The 14th edition of the Atlas also includes a new double page map of the Arctic Ocean, which highlights the dramatic long-term decline of Arctic sea ice cover. The sub-ice maps draw on bedrock data, provided by the British Antarctic Survey, to show physical features which are obscured by ice cover. ... [more]  

On Monday 22 September the EU Naval Force flagship, ITS Andrea Doria, met the Chinese Navy ship, CNS Changbaishan, in the Gulf of Aden. ... [more]  

The Presque Isle peninsula is a 3,200-acre – 7-mile long arm that extends northeast into Lake Erie creating a large, sheltered boating paradise of a harbour. With a string of well equipped marinas, a wealth of facilities and a very impressive yacht club, it has attractions for boaters that place it at the top of a cruising destination list. ... [more]  

In the early morning of Friday 19 September, EU Naval Force frigate, ESPS Navarra, came to the aid of a stricken yacht in the Gulf of Aden. The yacht had been detected on the warship’s radar in the early morning. ESPS Navarra’s Bridge team initially tried to hail the yacht via their VHF radio. ... [more]  

As their annual migration south approaches, sail and powerboat cruisers are stocking their boat’s lockers, checking systems and taking inventory of spare parts. But that’s not the only preparation these cruising 'snowbirds' will need to do, says Boat Owners Association of The United States (BoatUS). ... [more]  

Lost your rudder at sea? Michael Keyworth perfected a way to steer using drogues. To engineer this solution, he removed the rudder from his own boat(!), and experimented with different method, and has summarized his technique in this terrific article. ... [more]  

You scratched my seagrass! by Steven Katona, Newport, RI
Sailors for the Sea publishes monthly articles that translate the language of marine science into fascinating articles about ocean health. ... [more]  

Following a relatively short stopover in Christmas Island, eleven of the World ARC fleet have now arrived in their next paradise, the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. From first settlement in 1826 by English merchant Alexander Hare, through decades of administration by the Clunies-Ross dynasty, most island inhabitants had little freedom or contact with the outside world. ... [more]  

Paul Whitehouse and Simone Wood, from Wolverhampton and London, were in La Paz in Baja California when Hurricane Odile hit the Baja California peninsula last Sunday. It is thought their yacht overturned, and the couple have not been seen since. The couple is thought to have been living in La Paz for around a year. Mr Whitehouse is believed to be a scuba diving instructor in the city. ... [more]  

This might be the Texting and Facebook generation but boaters need to use VHF radio says volunteer rescuers from Weston-super-Mare's lifeboat station who rescued a yachtsman whose boat sank in the middle of the Bristol Channel and who then texted his girlfriend. ... [more]  

Earlier this year two men died in their bunks of carbon monoxide poisoning caused by the highly toxic fumes given off from a poorly maintained butane gas cooker. The cooker which was located in the wheelhouse had been lit to heat the wheelhouse and sleeping area. A carbon monoxide alarm was not fitted. ... [more]  

The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by land and Arctic sea ice is the thin layer of frozen ocean water that forms and grows during the winter, and melts in the summer. Dr Jeremy Wilkinson from the British Antarctic Survey provides a scientist’s perspective on the trend for decreasing Arctic sea ice. ... [more]  

The Virgin Islands are an archipelago. That part, which is a British overseas territory, is commonly referred to as the BVI. About 30,000 people live in the BVI, most of which live on the island of Tortola. The BVI are comprised of about 50 islands the majority of which are not inhabited by humans. ... [more]  

The Galley Guys take on the Vancouver International Boat Show by Greg Nicoll with Frank Leffelaar and Friends
The Galley Guys hit the Vancouver International Boat Show running. All day long, we were checking out new boats, looking into ice lockers, peeking into storage compartments, seeing what’s new for gourmet cooking onboard and being forced to live on 'show food' by day. ... [more]  

Are you ready to enter that marina? by Captain John Jamieson, Florida
Are you ready to enter that narrow canal or passage ahead that leads into the marina? Have you prepared your boat and crew for the unexpected? No matter if it's a brand new marina or the one you use as 'home base', docking preps will be the same each and every time. ... [more]  

Each summer, in a Canadian cruising tradition, thousands of Western Lake Ontario sailors join the annual summer migration to the Bay of Quinte and the Thousand Islands. ... [more]  

Unlike an automobile, recreational boats have special safety needs when it comes to refueling. Stern drive or inboard powered boats have closed engine compartments where volatile gasoline vapors don’t easily dissipate, and older gasoline powered boats are the riskiest to refuel as their brittle fuel hoses can crack, leaving gas in the bilge after a fill-up. ... [more]  

For the next 72 hours the majority of the World ARC fleet will be moored in Flying Fish Cove on Christmas Island. The crews will have been planning their 48 hours stopover here before leaving Bali so they can make the most of it. Christmas Island is one of the jewels of the Indian Ocean and has a lot to offer. 63% of its land mass is made of National Park which is home to many endemic species. ... [more]  

Three-time President of French Polynesia, Gaston Tong Sang, and current mayor of Bora Bora, has written a strong letter of support for the Blue Planet Odyssey, assuring the fleet a warm Polynesian welcome when they arrive there in 2015. ... [more]  

Remember to properly dispose of obsolete distress beacons by Australian Maritime Safety Authority
You might not be 'down under but here is a cautionary tale!- The Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) is urging people to ensure they dispose of their obsolete and unwanted distress beacons correctly after emergency services spent more than six hours homing a beacon eventually found dumped in bushland on Queensland's Sunshine Coast over the weekend of 6-7 September. ... [more]  

Blue Planet Odyssey - We made landfall the morning of Saturday, September 13th at 0900 local time as we passed Race Point at the entrance into Cape Cod Bay. Since leaving St John’s less than one week ago we had covered 1109 miles, at an average of just under seven knots. ... [more]  

The World ARC fleet made a great sight on September 14th as they sailed across the start line at the entrance to Benoa Harbour, Bali. Before leaving Bali International Marina, Arsa, a tour guide who had looked after the fleet during their week-long stay, visited yachts to perform a traditional Hindu blessing. It was a beautiful way to send off the fleet and a very special moment for many. ... [more]  

An international team of scientists, including the British Antarctic Survey, studied the geologic history of the area of the Antarctic Peninsula where the Larsen B ice shelf disintegrated, the portion of Antarctica that extends northwards toward South America. The new findings support the idea that such a dramatic collapse can be caused by surface warming. ... [more]  

The Baltic 4 Nations combines a traditional sailing rally with a flotilla holiday, all in the comfort of your own boat. A 370 mile, two week cruise, visiting some of the most beautiful locations in the southern Baltic. Hanseatic cities, quiet fishing harbours, bustling cities, and great beaches, with opportunities to sample local culture and cuisine as well as some great sailing! ... [more]  

Water expands in volume by about nine percent when it freezes, creating a staggering force that can crack a boat engine block, damage fiberglass, split hoses, or destroy a boat’s refrigeration system overnight. ... [more]  

The latest images from Marina Lanzarote show the new marina is looking smart and ready to welcome the yachts for the second Atlantic Odyssey which leaves in November 2014. Gazel Rebel, Blue Jade and Mahe’3, who will all be taking part, have already arrived, with more on the way. ... [more]  

The director of the Phuket Marine Office (PMO), Phuripat Theerakulpisut, yesterday (September 10) gave more details of two shock announcements that have reverberated through the Thai marine leisure industry and among yacht owners in the past few days. ... [more]  

Sailing Rallies launch two new events at PSP Southampton Boat Show
World ARC crews in Bali
Could your sailing navigation use a tune-up?
Images of marine sunsets by Tripadvisor
Citizen science model proposed to fill fundamental ocean data gap
Ocean Cruising Club celebrates 60th Anniversary with record gatherings
The Boat Cookbook
Indian Ocean-wide tsunami exercise to test readiness
Blue Planet Odyssey - Aventura makes landfall at St John’s
18 anti-piracy weapons for ships to fight pirates
World ARC fleet now arriving in Bali
EU Naval flagship- frigate assist yacht twice maydays in pirate zone
An offer a Galley Guy cannot refuse
World ARC fleet to enter Indian Ocean for the first time
What can you do to prevent electrocution and ESD?
Pack this sailing gear for 'hands-free' lighting
Salty Dawg Rally Seminar Series planned October 8 in Annapolis
Europe tightens up on skippers competency certification
World ARC fleet departs Darwin under full sail
NOAA expedition discovers ship’s timepiece silent for nearly 200 years
Blue Planet Odyssey - Northwest Passage gate opens   
A Cruising Guide to the Dominican Republic 6.0 now available   
Africa Europe Challenge introduces 'Spectator's Package'   
Niagara-on-the-Lake, a popular cruising destination in Canada   
The crowd-pleasing comforts of catamaran cruising   
'Sailing Stones' of Death Valley seen in action for the first time   
20 coral species listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act   
A case of crossed wires? A shocking situation!   
OHPRI Teen Summer Camps make a splash   
How amazingly awe-inspiring the Arctic really is   
Boaters urged to attend anchoring meetings next week in Florida   
New atlas provides thorough audit of marine life in the Southern Ocean   
Canal Boating in the Alsace with the Galley Guys   
World ARC fleet arrives in Darwin   
Timeless Tonga - Charter sailing in a Polynesian paradise *Feature   
A fine conclusion to the ARC Baltic 2014   
Where in the world are our strongest corals?   
Incredible efforts to save yacht from being lost at sea   
ARC Baltic fleet visit six countries and six capitals in six weeks   
Helen Island, Palau -a beautiful and unique place   


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  

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 Cru USA
LocalAds   DE  ES  FR  IT