Monday, January 17, 2011

Cretan Tools Confirm 130,000 Antiquity of Sea Travel

It is one thing to observe that the antiquity of sea travel seems inevitable, but quite another to prove its reality.  We now can make the astounding assertion that humanity took to the open seas whenever they needed and this has been going on for an amazing 130,000 years at least.

That makes all possible crossings prospective at least.  If they could see a place from a headland, then they went as a surety.  Otherwise they took to the nearby sea in the same way the historical Indians of the North West did.  Their constraint on boat size was tree size.

Again the clock on human development is cranked way back.  Making a seaworthy canoe is a serious undertaking requiring great technical skill matching anything expected of us today.  Thus we can throw out our assumptions on the human mind and recognize we are dealing with a folk who could have transitioned into the modern world rather easily.

When I started this blog only three years ago, the general consensus placed modern humanity about 70,000 years back at best.  This doubles the span.

Cretan tools point to 130,000-year-old sea travel

January 3, 2011

An picture provided by the Greek Ministry of Culture shows stone tools found on Crete. Greek and American archaeologists on the island say the tools, which they believe are at least 130,000 years old, show that early humans could navigate across open water thousands of years earlier than previously thought.

Greece's culture ministry says archaeologists on the island of Crete have discovered what may be evidence of one of the world's earliest sea voyages by humans.

A ministry statement says archaeologists from Greece and the U.S. have found rough axes and other tools thought to be between 130,000 and 700,000 years old in shelters on the island's south coast.

Crete has been separated from the mainland for about five million years, so whoever made the tools must have traveled there by sea (a distance of at least 40 miles).

An undated handout picture provided by the Greek Ministry of Culture shows stone tools found on southwestern Crete island. Archaeologists on the Greek island of Crete have found startling evidence that early humans were capable of navigation at least 130,000 years ago, the Greek culture ministry said.

The previous earliest evidence of open-sea travel in Greece dates back 11,000 years (worldwide, about 60,000 years - although considerably earlier dates have been proposed).

The ministry said Monday it is to conduct a more thorough excavation of the area.
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