Sailors may have cruised the Med 14,000 years ago
2007 07 23
By Michele Kambas | reuters.com
Archaeologists in Cyprus have discovered what they believe could be the oldest evidence yet that organized groups of ancient mariners were plying the east Mediterranean, possibly as far back as 14,000 years ago.
The find, archaeologists told Reuters on Wednesday, could also suggest the island of Cyprus, tucked in the northeast corner of the Mediterranean and about 30 miles away from the closest land mass, may have been gradually populated about that time, and up to 2,000 years earlier than previously thought.
"This is a major breakthrough in terms of the study of early Cyprus archaeology and the origins of seafaring in the Mediterranean," Pavlos Flourentzos, director of Cyprus's Department of Antiquities, told Reuters.
The discovery at a coastal site on the island's northwest has revealed chipped tools submerged in the sea and made with local stone which could be the earliest trace yet of human activity in Cyprus.
U.S. and Cypriot archaeologists conducting the research have known since 2004 that Cyprus was used by small groups of voyagers on hunting expeditions for pygmy elephants.
But the newly discovered expanse of the Aspros dig in the Akamas peninsula, which stretches into the sea, suggests the site held larger numbers of people, possibly for months.
"It shows that activity is much more organized than some isolated visit," said Tom Davis, director of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) in Nicosia.
Flourentzos and Davis said the new find told archaeologists nomads knew the island well enough to find tool material, suggesting they were repeat visitors.
Archaeologists say the first human settlements in Cyprus date from 10,000 BC and are located inland. Logically, the coastal settlements should be older, and in Aspros dig case where a good deal of it is now in the sea, possibly up to 2,000 years older.
"We are trying to verify through carbon dating on bones in the area that this find is more ancient, possibly another 2,000 years," said Flourentzos, who co-directed the research project with Albert J Ammerman, an archaeologist at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York.
Virtually nothing is known about Mediterranean mariners of the era. There is a widely held belief they never ventured into open seas because of limited navigational abilities.
"We are looking at repeated activity here, it is more than a handful of people. For the first time in the east Mediterranean we are talking about serious sea-voyaging," said Davis.
"This was not a case of one guy, or a family blown off course. This is a number of persons coming to Cyprus, these were conscious, repeated visits," Davis said.
Article from: http://www.reuters.com/article/lifestyleMolt/idUSL1887847220070718
Ancient mariner tools found in Cyprus
Phoenician temple found in Sicily
Latest News from our Front Page
Oh, Great: Robots Are Set to Conduct National Security Clearance Interviews
2014 07 22
Advancing a career in the US government might soon require an interview with a computer-generated head who wants to know about that time you took ketamine.
Psychologists at the National Center for Credibility Assessment (NCCA) are developing an interview system that uses a responsive on-screen avatar for the first stage of the national security clearance process.
Initial screening for a variety ...
Is Anything on the Internet Real Anymore?
2014 07 22
Is there anybody…out there?
I promise I’m a real person asking this question and typing this article…but beyond that, I can’t promise much else about anything you or I see on the Internet.
This article on ZDNet, “GCHQ’s dark arts: Leaked documents reveal online manipulation, Facebook, YouTube snooping,” confirms — beyond a shadow of any possible doubt — that a barrage of ...
Texas Governor to Send National Guard Troops to Border
2014 07 22
Texas Governor Rick Perry announced plans Monday to send 1,000 Texas National Guard troops to the Mexican border to deal with the massive wave of illegal immigration by children. Perry had previously asked the Obama administration to provide the same number of federal troops in an ongoing debate over how to deal with the flood of new immigrants.
"The price of ...
Archaeologists discover 8,000-year-old HUMAN BRAIN? Norway skull ’harbours fragments of grey matter’
2014 07 21
Archaeologists in Norway have unearthed what they believe to be a skull 8,000 years old that could contain the oldest remnants of a human brain.
The discovery was made at a dig site in Stokke, southwest of Oslo.
Initial findings suggest the skull belonged to a child no older than ten years old, while an adult was also buried in a fetal-like ...
New York State Wants To Heavily Regulate Bitcoin Trading
2014 07 21
The proposal would establish a mandatory “BitLicense” for any company involved with the buying, selling, mining or trading of cryptocurrencies.
In a move that has upset many in the bitcoin community, New York has become the first state to issue guidelines for the regulation of the trade and storage of bitcoins and other virtual currencies. With New York City being ...
|More News » |