Earliest globetrotters may have used sea

Oct 06, 2006

Early civilizations migrating around the globe may have followed coastal routes from Africa to points east and west, an anthropologist said.

Early peoples in California exhibited a high ability to live off the sea thousands of years ago, Jon Erlandson told the BBC. Erlandson, an anthropology professor at the University of Oregon in Eugene said this finding contradicts the long-held belief that maritime skills were a relatively recent phenomenon and less influential on the development of civilization.

Erlandson, speaking at the Calpe Conference 2006 in Gibraltar, said changing sea levels since the last Ice Age, combined with coastal erosion, would have wiped out evidence of a maritime past, the BBC said. The professor said a dig on California's San Miguel Island yielded a cache of artifacts, including fish hooks made of bone and netting made of seaweed, plus other items dating back thousands of years.

These discoveries, plus study of watery kelp forests, led Erlandson to his theory that some of America's earliest inhabitants may have migrated by water from Asia's coasts, in addition to the traditional theory of overland passage from Siberia to Alaska and down to what is now the United States.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: New branch added to European family tree

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Astronomers pinpoint 'Venus Zone' around stars

5 hours ago

San Francisco State University astronomer Stephen Kane and a team of researchers presented today the definition of a "Venus Zone," the area around a star in which a planet is likely to exhibit the unlivable ...

History books becoming next fight in Texas schools

5 hours ago

The next ideological fight over new textbooks for Texas classrooms intensified Wednesday with critics lambasting history lessons that they say exaggerate the influence of Moses in American democracy and negatively portray ...

Amazon deforestation up 29 pc in 2013

6 hours ago

Deforestation in the Amazon rose 29 percent between August 2012 and July of last year to 5,891 square kilometers (2,275 square miles), Brazilian officials said Wednesday, posting an amended figure.

Recommended for you

New branch added to European family tree

8 hours ago

The setting: Europe, about 7,500 years ago. Agriculture was sweeping in from the Near East, bringing early farmers into contact with hunter-gatherers who had already been living in Europe for tens of thousands ...

'Hidden Treasure of Rome' project unveiled

Sep 16, 2014

For more than a century, hundreds of thousands of historical artifacts dating back to before the founding of Rome have been stored in crates in the Capitoline Museums of Rome, where they have remained mostly untouched. Now, ...

NOAA team reveals forgotten ghost ships off Golden Gate

Sep 16, 2014

A team of NOAA researchers today confirmed the discovery just outside San Francisco's Golden Gate strait of the 1910 shipwreck SS Selja and an unidentified early steam tugboat wreck tagged the "mystery wreck." ...

User comments : 0