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

Galaxy Poll: 86 per cent of Australians want childhood vaccination to be compulsory?
2015-04-17 23:33
Australians want Prime Minister Tony Abbott to make childhood vaccination compulsory and close loopholes that allow vaccine refusers to put all children at risk. An exclusive national Galaxy poll commissioned by The Sunday Telegraph has revealed overwhelming support to ensure every child is vaccinated. The highest support for compulsory jabs is in South Australia, where 90 per cent support the call. The poll ...
Eye in the sky: Local police now using drones to spy on citizens
2015-04-17 22:09
The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office is doing something that no other agency in Harris County is believed to have done yet: Use drones to help fight crime. It's an eye in the sky for law enforcement, without giving up the element of surprise. "It could absolutely save lives," says Constable Alan Rosen. Rosen says the agency's two new $1,200 drones, which ...
New Zealander of the Year: refuse vaccines, lose money
2015-04-17 22:47
Following in the footsteps of Australia, 2014 New Zealander of the Year, Dr. Lance O’Sullivan, wants to punish people who don’t get vaccinated. The New Zealand Herald (4/15) reports: “A leading New Zealand doctor has called on the Government to follow Australia’s example to cut child welfare payments to families who do not vaccinate their children, saying the policy would help protect ...
Iris Scanner Identifies a Person 40 Feet Away
2015-04-17 22:20
Police traffic stops are in the news again, tragically, sparking a new round of discussion on whether and how to outfit police with cameras and other technology. For several years now, researchers at Carnegie Mellon University’s CyLab Biometrics Center have been testing an iris recognition system that can be used to identify subjects at a range of up to 40 feet. Like ...
Yes, You Can Catch Insanity
2015-04-17 22:29
One day in March 2010, Isak McCune started clearing his throat with a forceful, violent sound. The New Hampshire toddler was 3, with a Beatles mop of blonde hair and a cuddly, loving personality. His parents had no idea where the guttural tic came from. They figured it was springtime allergies. Soon after, Isak began to scream as if in pain ...
More News »