Subject:      Re: reed boats and Asia
From: (Yuri Kuchinsky 17784)
Date:         1997/09/01
Message-ID:   <5uelog$juc$>
Newsgroups:   sci.archaeology

John Davis ([22] wrote:
: Yuri Kuchinsky 17784 ([23] wrote:


: You continue to want me to have a point of view.  Why is that?  Can't you
: bare the thought that someone might see something in a different light
: than you.  I am willing to consider what you, say but in order to change
: my mind about things I have learned by hard work and a long
: apprenticeship it will take more than a well turned phrase by someone
: that writes like he's never been to sea.

Well, John, I suspect that most of our "big experts" on ancient navigation
have never been to sea -- witness the widely prevalent silly myth about
the "coast-hugging ancient sailors". I certainly have been, and
experienced some of these things first-hand.


: : Since in your other recent post you demonstrated that you didn't even know
: : that guara boards were used on Asian sailing rafts, certainly a very
: : significant omission in your understanding of these craft, I doubt that
: : your blanket dismissal of Jett is valid.

: I didn't give a blanket dismissal; I said one of his statements was
: hyperbole.  By the way I didn't see anything in there about guara boards
: or for that matter rafts.  I still have no reason to believe Asian Rafts
: used guara boards.

Well, I can guarantee you that. I've seen them mentioned in many studies
that I have read not so long ago. So what can I do? I have already given
refs, but I simply don't have the time to deal at length with such basic
stuff, while so much else needs to be done.

: : You do know a lot about sailing technologies, John, but, unfortunately,
: : you don't seem to be too well informed about either ancient Asian
: : ocean-going sailing rafts, or about their S. American counterparts.

: I have news for you, Yuri, no one else does either.

Well, thanks for pointing this out. It helps to be reminded about how
little this research is known, even among specialists. Sometimes we, those
of us who seriously investigate transpacific contacts, tend to forget how
far away from the mainstream we have travelled. There's so little
awareness of ancient tribal peoples having these skills. This is the sad
legacy of Eurocentrism in our scholarship.

When I mention the MAN ACROSS THE SEA volume, right away there will be
certain people complaining about such "old and tired material". But it is
very clear that the people complaining have never actually cracked this
book open. All this basic stuff is explained in this volume quite well. If
only it was read...

: For the most part
: those that used them did just that, used them,  They didn't spend to much
: time writing about them, even those that could write.

Not so. The Chinese sources wrote about this in detail. It was Joseph
Needham, the great sinologist, who brought all this stuff from complete

: Most of what we
: know is from a few very meager sources.

Not quite re: Asian ocean rafts.

: One thing we do know most, rafts
: were pretty much alike.

Not quite.

: They are very basic vessels; there's not to many
: different ways to build one.

You'd be surprised.

: The one big difference is the use of center
: boards to steer rafts; until Hyerdalh resurrected that tidbit, it was a lost
: art.

Again, not quite. And they are not really "centerboards". As I said
before, these guara boards could be lowered anywhere along the surface of
the raft depending on the wind and the waves. This adaptability was
extremely important, because it gave the raft greater maneuverability.

Again, it bears repeating the main point here in this discussion: close
similarities between the Asian and the S. American traditional ocean craft
have been CONCLUSIVELY DEMONSTRATED in competent studies.



Yuri Kuchinsky   | "Where there is the Tree of Knowledge, there
     -=-         | is always Paradise: so say the most ancient
 in Toronto      | and the most modern serpents."  F. Nietzsche

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