Friday, 19 August 2011

Proto-Humans Were Maritime Masters

A map of Europe with Crete in the centre. 130,000 years
ago, the coast lines would have been much further apart
New evidence suggests that our early ancestors went to sea 130,000 years ago, nearly 100,000 years older than previously thought. However such a date is 60,000 years older than when humans started to migrate worldwide. The evidence in question are 130,000 year old stone tool found on the island of Crete. Crete is slowly rising out of the sea at a pace about 35 times slower than the pace at which fingernails grow. The team simply rewound the process and found that 130,000 years ago, Crete would have been very far from the mainland.

Our ancestors could not have swum such a distance. Sea levels in the Mediterranean would not have been lower and therefore the only way the makers of the tools could have got there is if they went by boat. NCSU geologist Karl Wegmann stated 'the thing to me that really makes this unique and exciting is these other sister species (of human) maybe weren't as entirely stupid like we portray them,' Wegmann said, 'they were capable of really complex things.'