Ancient mariner tools found in Cyprus
2007 07 21

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

Hungary’s Orban Bashes Liberal Immigration Policy
2014 08 29
Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban on Monday lashed out against immigration, setting one of the main policy objectives of his next term in power after winning parliamentary elections in April. “The goal is to cease immigration whatsoever,” said Hungary’s prime minister. “I think the current liberal immigration policy, which is considered obvious and morally based, is hypocrite,” Mr. Orban said. At a ...
China’s “Duplitecture” Cities Mimic the World’s Greatest Architectural Hits
2014 08 29
The best knockoffs in the world are in China. There are plenty of fake designer handbags and Rolexes, but China’s knockoffs go way beyond fashion. There are knockoff Apple stores that look so much like the real thing that some employees believe they are working in real Apple stores. And then there are entire knockoff cities. There are Venices with ...
Kiev loses control of Novoazovsk, rebel troops advance in southeast Ukraine
2014 08 29
Kiev’s troops had to leave the eastern Ukrainian city of Novoazovsk to save their lives, said the country’s Security and Defense Council. The authorities admitted that self-defense forces are advancing and leading a counteroffensive in the southeast. Along with Novoazovsk, Kiev troops have lost control over the villages of Amvrosiivka and Starobeshevo in the Donetsk Region of Eastern Ukraine. According to Ukraine’s ...
Mohammed is most popular name in Oslo
2014 08 29
For the first time in the capital city’s history, Mohammed is the most common name for boys and men, said a study on Thursday. Statistics Norway (Statistisk Sentralbyrå - SSB) has counted the population of Oslo and found that Mohammed is the most common male name in Oslo for the first time ever. Jørgen Ouren of SSB said to NRK: “It is ...
Beaten to Death at McDonald’s
2014 08 29
To the four clean-cut college freshman out on a double date, it had seemed like a typical McDonald’s: spanking clean, well-lighted, and safe. It was in a good neighborhood too, right next to Texas A&M University in College Station -- a campus known for its friendly atmosphere and official down-home greeting: “howdy.” Shortly after 2 A.M. that Sunday, they pulled into ...
More News »