Subject: Re: ancient navigation (was: American map on Phoenician coins? From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Yuri Kuchinsky) Date: 1997/05/17 Message-ID: <email@example.com> Newsgroups: sci.archaeology,rec.boats Steve Whittet (firstname.lastname@example.org) wrote: [Yuri:] : >...They certainly could do it as early as 1500 bce, : >...and probably much earlier. : : This goes too far. There is a difference between fisherman being able : to sail a few days out to sea and the establishment of an infrastructure : which requires the kinds of cargo vessels which can sail in heavy : weather on a long voyage. If you follow the evolution of boats its : possible by 600 BC, but not much before that. Thanks for your long but very interesting post, Steve. Obviously you researched this subject matter in detail. As to the last bit about ancient Europeans making it to America, I didn't mean to imply that trading links existed, although there're some authors who maintain this, especically in regard to the very early copper trade. Isn't it interesting that the early use of copper started at about the same time both in the New and the Old World? As far as I'm concerned, I believe that it's quite possible that there was an early circum-Polar maritime culture consisting of tribes who lived by the sea and on the sea. They didn't need to be pinned down to any specific geographic location, as they could migrate at will and establish themselves elsewhere. For them, the sea was not an obstacle, but a wide- open and inviting highway. First sailors were navigating the oceans possibly as far back as 200,000 years, ago... The first colonisation of Australia, that you yourself mentioned, is the best indication of how ancient ancient navigation was! This (global!) maritime civilization of very ancient past declined at some period of time as the agricultural societies developed, and as the global population increased. Is it possible that these ancient sailors could only flourish in the circumstances where their shore/resupply bases were unthreatened by the land-dwelling tribes and nations? As the global population density increased, these "sea-peoples" would have been running out of safe harbours where to base their maritime activities? I suppose our deep-ingrained notions of progress rebel at the very idea that sailing technologies flourished in distant past and then declined over time. But such a decline is _obvious_ in Europe in the middle ages... Admittedly much of the above is speculative, but it is based on my general reading in this area... Best wishes, Yuri. 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 ----- my webpage is for now at: http://www.io.org/~yuku ----- _________________________________________________________________Click here to go one level up in the directory.