Ancient mariner tools found in Cyprus
2007-07-21 0:00

By George Psyllides | news.yahoo.com


A diver searches the Aspros area for ancient artifacts off the western coast of Cyprus, Akamas, Wednesday, July 4, 2007. Archaeologists excavating the seabed off Cyprus have discovered the tools of ancient mariners, which they believe were used by foragers more than 10,000 years ago — before the island had permanent settlements. (AP Photo)

Archaeologists excavating the seabed off Cyprus have discovered the tools of ancient mariners, which they believe were used by foragers more than 10,000 years ago — before the island had permanent settlements.

The underwater discovery of what archaeologists said were the oldest materials recovered off the island's coast could shed fresh light on the early history of Cyprus and Mediterranean seafaring.

Earlier this month, divers located the pre-Neolithic finds — chipped stone tools and ground stone implements — in several areas off the western coast, near Aspros, an archaeological site discovered in 2004.

The most significant finds were located in water about 33 feet deep and about 330 feet offshore.

"These are the people who are the pioneers; without their knowledge people who came later maybe would not have had it that good," said Colgate University's Albert J. Ammerman, the survey's director.

Archaeologists say the new discoveries indicate that ancient Aspros was much larger than the landward section visible today. The Aspros site, discovered in 2004, now extends more than 820 feet along the top of a cliff on the north side of the dry Aspros River bed, the archaeologists said.

"All of what we see on the land is just a tip of the iceberg of what is in the water," said Ammerman, whose underwater survey was carried out by nine divers from Cyprus and the U.S.

Aspros, along with a similar site also discovered in 2004 at the tourist resort of Agia Napa in southeastern Cyprus, lies on a coastal formation of aeolianite — old cemented sand dunes.

The archaeologists believe that tools found at the two sites were used by seafaring foragers who frequented the island well over 10,000 years ago — before the first permanent settlers arrived around 8,200 B.C.

They are thought to have sailed from present-day Syria and Turkey, at least 46 miles north and east of the island.

The dawn of seafaring in the region has been put at around 9,500 B.C. from evidence found 20 years ago at Aetokremnos, on Cyprus' southern Akrotiri peninsula.

The finds indicate these early wanderers traveled more widely, and more frequently, than was previously believed, outside experts say.

"This just shows there is a lot more activity than was originally thought," said Tom Davis, an archaeologist and director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, who not involved in Ammerman's study. "We're looking at repeated visits around the island."

"These would be people stopping deliberately, coming to the island to use resources, setting themselves with a clear understanding of the landscape," Davis said.

The tools found at Aspros and Ayia Napa are similar to those found at Akrotiri, though precise dating must still be verified through radiocarbon tests, which are in progress.

The era in question coincided with a climatic cold snap known as the Younger Dryas — dated roughly 11,600-12,800 years ago — when the sea level was some 200-230 feet lower.

Rising seas subsequently submerged much of the ancient coast.

Article from: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/
20070720/ap_on_sc/cyprus_ancient_mariners_
6;_ylt=Aopb_K53pkBWm0FyFwzKPuJFeQoB



Related Articles
Phoenician temple found in Sicily


Latest News from our Front Page

41% of Americans Support Criminalizing "Hate Speech"
2015-05-23 7:31
The following are from a recent poll about what some are calling on for "hate speech" 1. Support for Hate Crimes Legislation Do you support or oppose the federal law that requires increased penalties for hate crimes committed on the basis of the actual or perceived race, color, religion, national origin, ethnicity, or gender of any person? 2. Support for Expanding Hate Crimes Do ...
FBI Admits No Major Cases Cracked with Patriot Act Snooping Powers
2015-05-23 7:36
FBI agents can’t point to any major terrorism cases they’ve cracked thanks to the key snooping powers in the Patriot Act, the Justice Department’s inspector general said in a report Thursday that could complicate efforts to keep key parts of the law operating. Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz said that between 2004 and 2009, the FBI tripled its use of bulk ...
Sweetener Stevia Was Once Hailed As An Anti-Fertility Agent for Population Reduction
2015-05-23 7:13
Maybe it's not so sweet now... If you've thought stevia, the natural alternative to sugar and artificial sweetners with aspartame, et al., is too good to be true, there may be a catch. Check out this textbook written in 1970 by Paul and Anne Ehrlich, the precursor to the textbook Ecoscience they wrote with Obama Science Czar John P. Holdren ...
TPP Aproved: Senate Republicans Give Obama New Powers - Details Remain 'Classified'
2015-05-23 6:43
President Obama won a big victory for his trade agenda Friday with the Senate’s approval of fast-track legislation that could make it easier for him to complete a wide-ranging trade deal that would include 11 Pacific Rim nations. A coalition of 48 Senate Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for Trade Promotion Authority late Friday, sending the legislation to a difficult fight ...
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed
2015-05-23 3:22
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes — a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant. An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...
More News »