Iberianature Forum

Iberian geography, history, geology, environment and climate => Geography and geology => Topic started by: Clive on July 13, 2007, 19:20 PM

Title: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Clive on July 13, 2007, 19:20 PM
Hola,

I picked this news up on the BBC web site.....http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6294786.stm 14000 years before Columbus the ancient Iberians were sailing to the Americas.

To prove it, a boat has been built and has set sail for Spain from new York.

The web site for this adventure is at http://www.abora3.de/index-eng.html


Quote
There is growing evidence that before Columbus or the Vikings made their maiden voyages to the New World, people were regularly crossing the Atlantic to trade goods. Scientists have discovered traces of nicotine and cocaine in the mummy of Ramses II. Neither drug became popular until after Columbus returned to the Old World. Moreover, remains of tobacco beetles, which could not have flown from the Gulf of Mexico to the Mediterranean, were discovered in Egyptian graves. The discovery of the same cultivated plants on both sides of the Atlantic is further indication that Stone Age Man made these transatlantic business trips. How did they do it? Cave drawings from the Magdalene Old Stone Age cultures in France and Spain point to the advanced nautical knowledge of these pre-Ice Age seafarers.

The most remarkable example of this originates from the “Cueva del Castillo” in northern Spain, dating back to 12,000 BCE. It refers to the Canary Islands Gulf Stream System, a downwind course – much easier than sailing in the windy Mediterranean. Even the types of stylized boats used to cross the Atlantic from East to West with the North Equatorial Current, as well as from West to East on the Gulf Stream, are clearly depicted. The dotted circles on the left most likely refer to the Caribbean Current, from which the Gulf Stream rises.

A few years ago in Portugal Sue and I came across a burial chamber in the middle of a field... One of the nearby slabs of rock was about 5 metres by 2 metres and covered in engravings that looked like a picture of the stars....Could this have been a map for navigating?...We went to Lisbon where the artefacts from the burial chamber were stored but could not get any more information because all the Iberian stuff had been put away for a Pharaohs and Pyramids display...Sigh!

Clive

Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Technopat on July 14, 2007, 01:05 AM
Greetings Clive and All,
Not in the least bit surprised  8) - you all know my lack of faith in established fact aka the Establishment's factoids  >:D, be it related to science, history - you name it, I doubt it  :technodevil: !
Not quite as long ago as the guys (and gals) mentioned in Clive's article, but as both Tore and I know perfectly well (long story, passing ref. only  8) ), the Vikings had established settlements on the North American continent long before Cristobal Dos Puntos ( ;D) was even a glint in 'is father's eye. Likewise, as can be seen on the following Wikipedia article, Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki exp. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/) established without doubt that long distance voyages had taken place in the Southern Hem. way before and so on. And the crossing of the Bering Strait however many thousands of years ago.
Funniliy enough, read summat similar to Clive's thing this morning, but can't remember where. Will have a look for it on the morrow.
Regs.
Technopat
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: steveT on August 02, 2007, 00:21 AM
Dear all,

There was a BBC documentry on this some years ago. The theory being that during the last ice age, some culture/cultures may have lived off the Atlantic ice sheet edge ie hunitng/fishing from it, living on it (igloos/skin tents) and using canoes for transport. This was their environment....where they lived .....similar to polar peoples of today and especially of the recent past - not a hostile environment but one that supported them. They lived along the ice/sea boundary that stretced from as far south as S. Wales to New York.

The eveidence for this is similarity of some stone artefacts on both sides of the Atlantic pre end of Ice Age and some genetic traces of dna found in Native American Indians that must pre date even the Vikings by thousands of years......I can't remeber this bit.....

The ideas are a theory put very plausible. I think too the idea of trade should be seen, as that there may have been things transfered from one continent to another .... rather than organised transfer of stuff ..... mind you, you never know......................................................

Trade is really old .......most paelontogist agree that there was atleast some  transfer of cultural ideas and objects from the first ever wave of humans into nortern europe  to Neanderthals around 40,000 years ago.........there is archaeological evidence for this.......

As this wave of humans came from Africa .....slowly on foot ..... you could argue this was intercontinental trade too! ( You could argue that the cultural/ideas stuff was high value too as is our ideas/communiction economic sector today.....mind you it did them no good in the long term!!!!!).

As you probably know most scientist believe Iberia was the Neaderthals last stronghold ..... dying out about 27,000 years ago ....no one knows exactly why but we are almost certainly a major factor in the equation.

SteveT



Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: lisa on August 03, 2007, 10:01 AM
Have you seen the news about a crew sailing a reed boat from America to Spain to try and prove what stone-age man could have been capable of?
From the Mail&Guardian; (http://www.mg.co.za/articlePage.aspx?articleid=313724&area=/breaking_news/breaking_news__international_news/)

"Reed-boat voyage aims to 'rewrite history'

An 11-strong crew of mostly German explorers set out from New York on Wednesday on a reed boat bound for southern Spain in a historic bid to prove that Stone Age man made similar trans-Atlantic voyages.

"We want to rewrite history," Dominique Goerlitz, a botanist and experimental archeologist leading the expedition, said shortly before the 10-ton Abora III cast off, leaving the modern Manhattan skyline behind.

"This boat is a time machine to demonstrate that our ancestors were not that primitive," he added. "Naturally we have some concerns. We are doing a completely new thing. But I'm not afraid. I'm pretty confident."

The crew hope to reach Spain in six to nine weeks, stopping off at the Portuguese islands of the Azores on the way to resupply before tackling the hardest part of the trip to the final destination of Cadiz in southern Spain.

Goerlitz first became fascinated more than a decade ago with pre-historic cave drawings of reed boats, some of which dated back 15 000 years. "If they were able to do this, why not we?" he said.

His mission is to prove the experts wrong by overturning current thinking that, thanks to the prevailing winds and currents, Stone Age man would have been capable of sailing towards America but not back again.
"
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Clive on August 03, 2007, 10:19 AM
Hola,

 ::) And I get accused of not paying attention sometimes? Huh?

Please re read my original first post in this thread.... ;D

Clive
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Technopat on August 03, 2007, 11:10 AM
Greetings Clive and All,
It's awright, mate - it's the 'eat. Seen it 'appen sooooo many times before:

In tropical climes there are certain times of day
When all the citizens retire
To tear their clothes off and perspire.
It's one of those rules that the greatest fools obey,
Because the sun is much to sultry
And one must avoid its ultry-violet ray.
The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts,
Because they're obviously definitely nuts!

Mad dogs and English(wo)men
Go out in the midday sun,
The Japanese don't care to.
The Chinese wouldn't dare to,
Hindoos and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one.
But English(wo)men detest a siesta.

In the Philippines
There are lovely screens
To protect you from the glare.
In the Malay States
There are hats like plates
Which the Britishers won't wear.

At twelve noon
The natives swoon
And no further work is done,
But mad dogs and English(wo)men
Go out in the midday sun.

It's such a surprise for the Eastern eyes to see
That though the English are effete,
They're quite impervious to heat,
When the white man rides every native hides in glee,
Because the simple creatures hope he
Will impale his solar topee on a tree.

It seems such a shame
When the English claim
The earth
That they give rise to such hilarity and mirth.

Mad dogs and English(wo)men
Go out in the midday sun.

The toughest Burmese bandit
Can never understand it.
In Rangoon the heat of noon
Is just what the natives shun,
They put their Scotch or Rye down,
And lie down.

In a jungle town
Where the sun beats down
To the rage of man and beast
The English garb
Of the English sahib
Merely gets a bit more creased.

In Bangkok
At twelve o'clock
They foam at the mouth and run,
But mad dogs and English(wo)men
Go out in the midday sun.

Mad dogs and English(wo)men
Go out in the midday sun.

The smallest Malay rabbit
Deplores this foolish habit.
In Hong Kong
They strike a gong
And fire off a noonday gun,
To reprimand each inmate
Who's in late.

In the mangrove swamps
Where the python romps
There is peace from twelve till two.
Even caribous
Lie around and snooze,
For there's nothing else to do.

In Bengal
To move at all is seldom,
If ever done,
But mad dogs and English(wo)men
Go out in the midday sun.

Noël Coward (1932) - adapted

Keep cool! 8)

 :dancing: regs.
Technopat
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Technopat on August 03, 2007, 12:54 PM
Reminds me of an e-mail doing the rounds a few years ago of which I have found this similar, but not quite as amusing, version on internet:

A Spanish company and a Japanese company decided to have a boat race. Both teams practiced hard to reach peak performance. On the big day they both felt as ready as they could be.

The Japanese won by more than a mile.

The Spanish team became very discouraged by the loss and morale sagged. Corporate Management decided that the reason for the crushing defeat had to be found. A "Continuous Measurable Improvement" team was set up to investigate the problem and to recommended appropriate corrective action. Their conclusion:

The problem was that the Japanese team had eight people rowing and one person steering, whereas the Spanish team had one person rowing and eight people steering. The Spanish company’s Steering Committee immediately hired a consulting firm to carry out a study on the management structure. After some time and millions of dollars, the consulting firm concluded, among other aspects, that "Too many people were steering and not enough rowing".

To prevent losing to the Japanese again next year, the team's management structure was totally reorganized to consist of four Steering Managers, three Area Steering Managers, one Staff Steering Manager and a new performance system for the person rowing the boat to give him more incentive to work harder.

The next year the Japanese won by more than two miles.

Humiliated, the Spanish company laid off the rower for poor performance, canceled all capital investment for a new boat, gave a "High Performance" award to the consulting firm, then distributed the money saved as bonuses to the senior executives

Regs.
Technopat
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: lisa on August 04, 2007, 09:50 AM
"Cantabria en alerta amarilla, por las altas temperaturas
Cantabria estará mañana en nivel amarillo de alerta por altas temperaturas debido a la llegada a la Península de un "calor sofocante africano" que afectará a 26 provincias, según alertó hoy la ministra de Medio Ambiente, Cristina Narbona, apoyándose en las predicciones del Instituto Nacional de Meteorología (INM)."Vamos a estar sometidos este fin de semana a un calor sofocante, calor africano que va a afectar a la Península", dijo. En amarillo, también estarán el sábado las comunidades autónomas de Murcia, Galicia, Asturias, País Vasco, Navarra y La Rioja y las provincias de Segovia, Burgos, León, Zamora, Palencia, Valladolid, Soria, Guadalajara, Cuenca, Zaragoza, Teruel, Almería, Alicante y Valencia."

Translated, that means I can take off my fleece so I'll put it down to me 'ormones. Where has that embarrassed smilie gone?  :(

History - out
Insects - out
......
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Clive on August 04, 2007, 17:13 PM
 :-[ :-[ :-[ :-[ This One?
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Clive on August 05, 2007, 15:18 PM
Hola,

Posting this for Jill as she is having "issues" with the forum at the moment

Clive

Hmmph...

Without wishing to be too much of a wet blanket... I should just like to point out that just because a thing is possible doesn't mean that it happened. Just because a bunch of German and Spanish lads, who know where they are going, may be able to cross the Atlantic does not prove that any Stone Age chappies ever made it across. ("... an historic bid to prove that Stone Age man made similar trans-Atlantic voyages.")

Personally, I have my doubts.

I don't believe that Columbus was the first to cross the pond. He seems to have been far too sure that he was going to arrive. Very possibly the reason he found it so difficult to get a financial backer was that other people knew that those islands "over there" were not The Indies. (And after all, that was what was wanted: a sea route to the Indies ie. The East Indies, as they afterwards became known.) It took Chris Columbus ten years to talk Isabella into sponsoring him. The usual reason given is that everybody else said, quite correctly, that the Indies were very much further away than the explorer imagined. So, I don't have much doubt about the fact that somebody - some Portuguese fisherman perhaps - had already been to the Caribbean islands.

As a matter of fact, it is likely that quite a number of people had made the crossing to the Americas over the years. If you get into a boat in the Canary Islands and your motor packs up, or your mast breaks, then it is quite likely that your boat will eventually end up on the farther shore of the Atlantic. Whether her crew will still be alive is another matter. A few years ago a single-hander who was heading over to the Caribbean had the misfortune to be rammed and sunk by whales. He got into his liferaft and drifted westward - and he lived to write a book about it. While we were in the Cape Verde islands, about twelve years back, two fishermen went missing in their little cockle boat. Naturally enough, they were presumed dead, but they too made it to the other side, although they were in a terrible state when they reached it. So, it is possible to drift from the Canaries or the Cape Verdes and arrive in Brazil or the Caribbean.

Neither of these African archipelagos was in European hands before the mid 1400s (I can't remember the dates, offhand) and the Cape Verdes were uninhabited when first discovered by the Portuguese. This does not deny the possibility of some ancient Egyptian having drifted across to the Americas from the coast of Morocco. That faint possibility exists, although the Egyptians are not reckoned to have been great seafarers and, so far as I am aware, they did not govern any part of the Atlantic coast. (I could be wrong on that point; I don't know very much about Egyptian history.)

If anybody was trading across the Atlantic before 1492 they are most likely to have been Phoenician = Carthaginian = Canaanite. These people were great seafarers. They certainly sailed to and from Britain and they are alleged to have sailed around Africa - although there is no evidence for the latter. So far as anybody knows they did not make voyages out of sight of land. Hug the coast and you have various things in your favour - a) you know where you are, b) you can usually get ashore and find food and water, and c) you can at least try to get ashore when the weather turns nasty. (That doesn't always work out, of course, and the proximity of the coast can be a very bad thing in a strong wind. Plenty of Phoenician and Roman wrecks in the Med to prove that point!)

The Phoenician colonies were not up and running in the Stone Age. I'm writing this off the top of my head, so to speak, but I think that the first Phoenician colonies in Spain date from about 1,200 BC. Anyhow, the real issue is not whether the Phoenicians or some much older, unidentified African people could have drifted across to the Americas; the point is that getting from Europe to The Americas is less than half of the problem. You also have to get back again.

If you walk along the windward shore of a Caribbean island you will find that it is littered with rubbish from over here; from our side of the puddle. So, pretty obviously, the Caribs and Arawaks must have known of the existence of another people on the far side of the water. Clearly "we" didn't make so much rubbish in the 1490s - no light bulbs, wine bottles, squeezy bottles, and toothpaste tubes (I'd like to speak to the guy who replaced metal / vaguely biodegradable toothpaste tubes with immortal ones... but that's another matter). None of that junk, in those days, but i'll bet the Arawaks had met barrels, and cork fishing buffs (pot markers), and pieces of wrecked ship. They knew about "us", but they didn't come looking.

Why not?

Well, it could be that, like the guys in the film about the coke can, they thought that our rubbish was a gift from heaven. Or it could be that they were unadventurous. (Rule that one out; they were adventurous enough to migrate out to the islands). Or it could be that their Amerindian ancestors had discovered, thousands of years earlier, in the time of the Ancient Egyptians, that we weren't worth visiting.("Mostly harmless".) No, I can't believe any of this. The simple fact of the matter is that the Arawaks, the Caribs, and the Amerindians - those of the 15th century, at any rate - lacked the technology to cross oceans. You cannot hope to get from North America to Europe in a dug-out canoe.

The journey from Europe to the Americas is a doddle. Provided that you don't mess about out there in the hurricane season the weather is almost certain to be lovely. Go sometime between January and May and the tradewind and the current will ferry you across. Coming back... is another story. You can't do it at the same latitude because, of course, the wind and current will both be against you. You have to circle to the north. If you can get across the North Atlantic without meeting a gale, or a near gale, you are doing well. And if you come to grief, you wont just drift across to Europe. If you're lucky you might end up in North Africa, I suppose. If you're unlucky you would probably end your days drifting about in the Sargasso Sea / Horse Latitudes (where there's so little wind that people used to be reduced to eating the horses... or some such rot). Alternatively, you might drift north towards Ireland and then be swept down along the Iberian coast. That whole journey would take a couple of months, and maybe more, and it would be bound to be rough. In any event, the fact is that whereas people do drift across to South America I've never heard of anybody being wrecked on the northerly, West to east passage, getting into a liferaft, and arriving in Europe.

Why a reed boat, incidentally? There are plenty of trees in America. We know that the Amerindians had dug-out canoes - in fact, the word canoe is Amerindian in origin - but, so far as I am aware, there is no evidence for reed boats having been used on the coast / at sea. They were used, both in Colombia and, I believe, in Arabia and Ancient Egypt, on lakes and rivers. Some people say that Noah's Ark was a reed boat... (My brother, a "born again" Geologist, has written a book about The Flood. ("On a Faraway Day" by Alan Dickin.) He reckons it was Mesapotamia - the known world of the time - which flooded, and I seem to recall that reed boats were used here too.) Anyway, it seems to me that these latest, German-led adventurers chose to use a reed boat because that's what Thor H used. If it were me, I think I might try making something out of palm logs, or bamboos. Bamboos are integrally buoyant. Or I might try making something along the lines of the bronze age boat found recently at Dover - but something very much bigger than that! Then again, I might build a Polynesian style catamaran, consisting of two massive dug-outs lashed together. This is efectively what James Wharram did, except that he did it with modern materials; the Wharram cat is unashamedly based on Polynesian craft but it's made of plywood.

I wouldn't start from NY, either. Do they grow tobacco in NY? No, and nor is there any evidence that the North American Indians ever put to sea. Au contraire. Starting the voyage from there couldn't be a publicity stunt, could it, Techno?

It takes about a month for a cruising yacht to sail from the Bahamas to the Azores, so those Germans are not yet due. By the look of it, their boat won't sail to windward at all, and even off the wind it will be very much slower than a cruising yacht. If they make it across I won't be at all surprised - anything is possible - and it will certainly prove that a reed boat can be sailed across the North Atlantic. If they have to be rescued I shall be even less surprised. It seems that other people have tried in the past, in similar reed boats, and none has made it.

For what it's worth, James Wharram crossed the North Atlantic, back in about 1955, in the aforementioned catamaran. (I'm astonished and disgusted to find that Wikipedia don't have a page for James Wharram or for Wharram Cats.. so I wasn't able to verify the date.) This was the first ever crossing of the Atlantic by a catamaran - or, at any rate, the first within modern times.....

But as I said at the outset, whether or not these people can manage to get their reed boat from America to Iberia, it won't prove that stone age man did or didn't do the same thing in either a reed boat or a catamaran. (I thought I'd better mention Iberia there as we seem to have strayed from the subject of our brief.)  ;D

Coudn't the tobacco found in the pharoh's tomb have come across, all by itself, on the current? Imagine a bale of tobacco being washed from the wreckage of a stricken dug-out... Unlike a shipwrecked mariner or an explorer/ tradesman / boatload of would-be emigrants it needs nothing in the way of food or water, and unlike a boat it can survive being rolled about and tossed from one wave-top to another. How does it stay afloat? I don't know; maybe it just happens to have been lashed to a piece of wood or bamboo or to a bundle of kapok. Eventually - perhaps after months, perhaps after years - a particular series of events (ie storms) causes it to be carried onto the shores of Morocco. Or Iberia! Items such as this do manage to cross the pond. I'm thinking especially of "lucky beans", which are those large, flat, perfectly round seeds occasionally discovered on the beaches of Ireland and Iberia. I can't remember where it is that they originate - and they're not on Wiki either! I'm losing faith in the Great Global Brain.

I'm sorry this is so long. It just happens to be one of my pet subjects.

By the way, Steve, I've read (somewhere on the net) that some archaeologists now believe that the Neanderthals didn't die out, as a species. Those who pushed north into Britain will have died during the ice age, but the latest theory seems to be that the others intermingled with homo sapiens sapiens.  That would make them our great great greaaaat grannies, along with erectus, heidelberg et al. 

Jill

P.S. Technopat, thank-you so much for posting the lyrics to that song. I've been walking around singing the chorus line, much to everybody else's annoyance. Now I can annoy them with the whole thing. :biggrin:
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Clive on August 05, 2007, 21:40 PM
Hola,

Quote
If anybody was trading across the Atlantic before 1492 they are most likely to have been Phoenician = Carthaginian = Canaanite. These people were great seafarers. They certainly sailed to and from Britain and they are alleged to have sailed around Africa - although there is no evidence for the latter. So far as anybody knows they did not make voyages out of sight of land. Hug the coast and you have various things in your favour - a) you know where you are, b) you can usually get ashore and find food and water, and c) you can at least try to get ashore when the weather turns nasty. (That doesn't always work out, of course, and the proximity of the coast can be a very bad thing in a strong wind. Plenty of Phoenician and Roman wrecks in the Med to prove that point!)

 If, as Steve mentions the Atlantic ice sheet went from southern "Britain (LOG)" across to New York (ish)  It would be possible to hug the "ice" coast would it not?

I don't think we are talking about semi modern "Mediterranean" seafaring people at all.  More likely the Celts and ibericelts that already had huge communication and trade across the whole of northern Europe and certainly as far south as Elche in South East Spain.This of course thousands of years before the Phoenicians founded Gades to trade with the Tartessians.(who had been trading with the someone NOT the Phoenicians for a very long time in order to be such a well organised society)

The Title of this thread is "WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?" It's not about whether you can sail there or back again in today's climate....

Clive

Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Technopat on August 05, 2007, 21:57 PM
Greetings All,
After much searching, finally found where to answer Jill's reflections of a lifetime - and also found that I've forgotten what I was going to answer - funny, 'cos on my recent sojourn in the LOG my brain was razor-keen and back here it just becomes a steamy gooey mess ...

As so often the case here at iberianatureforum - doesn't Darwinism say that we'll perfect this over the coming future? - there's too much stuff to take in/digest/cope with in one sitting, so the answer will be piecemeal, get forgotten about, and then revived weeks later ...

Re.
Quote
...although the Egyptians are not reckoned to have been great seafarers...
, Heyerdahl (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thor_Heyerdahl) himself didn't think the Egyptians had crossed the Atlantic - he just wanted to prove that it was possible using the technology available to them:

Re. lack of evidence
Quote
Phoenician = Carthaginian = Canaanite. These people were great seafarers. They certainly sailed to and from Britain and they are alleged to have sailed around Africa - although there is no evidence for the latter.
doesn't mean anything. We don't even know the most basic things about most things that directly interest us, such as our own bodies(why do I love almonds but hate marzipan?), thought processes (how do you think?). Even within a person's lifetime things take place and get forgotten about or at best someone vaguely remembers something. And we still only guess at most of the civilisations that we know a lot about through huge amounts of physical evidence.

re.
Quote
You also have to get back again.
, the Vikings established colonies for 2-3 years (one helluva long time in those days) but there was no actual cross-Atlantic trade being carried out, except an ill-fated attempt at local level  (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%27Anse_aux_Meadows)

re.
Quote
nor is there any evidence that the North American Indians ever put to sea. Au contraire. Starting the voyage from there couldn't be a publicity stunt, could it, Techno?
, is really two issues in one. First, if you are happy where you are, you don't risk your life or that of your loved ones looking for fresh pastures. Several reasons for human migration, amnong which war, hunger etc. feature high at the top of 'motivation'. Second, yes, I agree that it's simply a publicity stunt by a couple of rich kids (pijos (Eng. anyone - pijos not piojos, Dave! or niñatos - Eng. anyone?))

Anyways, see that someone else has just posted summat here so will copy, paste and post before I lose it all - and forget what etc. etc.

Regs.
Technopat
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: steveT on August 06, 2007, 02:11 AM
Dear Wildside,

I think there are 2 camps as far as I understand, those who propose inter breeding between species .... there is a Portuguese sub fossil skeleton speciem found a few years ago that some archaeologists site as a possible example. However others who believe there was no or no significant interbreeding point out the fact that we have no neanderthal dna in our make up. I know very little about dna evidence but there are possible explanations for this. ..... I think the jury is really still out on Neanderthal extinction.

SteveT
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Jill on August 06, 2007, 14:22 PM
Clive has hit the nail on the head – and Technopat has emphasised it: -

“It’s not about whether you can sail there and back again in today’s climate” (Clive)

“Heyerdahl himself didn't think the Egyptians had crossed the Atlantic - he just wanted to prove that it was possible using the technology available to them” (Technopat)

Precisely the point I’m making! Just because we can (or can’t) do it now doesn’t mean that it could (or couldn’t) be done in 12,000 BC and yet this is what is being claimed: -

 “14000 years before Columbus the ancient Iberians were sailing to the Americas. To prove it, a boat has been built and has set sail for Spain from New York.” Clive, possibly quoting from someone else.

 And “... historic bid to prove that Stone Age man made similar trans-Atlantic voyages.” Lisa quoting Mail and Guardian. (My italics.)

All I am saying is that this trip, although interesting in its own right, will not prove that Stone Age man crossed the Atlantic in reed boats, or in any other kind of boat. All it will prove is that modern man can (or cannot) cross the modern-day Atlantic in a reed boat. If the voyage is successful it will show that Stone Age man could, conceivably, have done likewise. I see that the adventurers have already had to have some new lee-boards brought out to them, and that’s something that wouldn’t have been available to the ancients.

The same thinking must be applied to the idea that the Phoenicians sailed around Africa. I’m a big fan of this idea – I’m a big fan of the Phoenicians / Carthaginians and I think it’s a great pity that they didn’t win their power struggle versus the Romans – but if there’s no evidence for a thing then there’s no evidence. We can say, “I’d like to think that the Phoenicians sailed around Africa.” And while we’re about it we can throw in, “Maybe they sailed to America. Hey! Maybe they sailed around the world.” And we can also add, “Maybe the Stone Age people of Iberia sailed to and from the Americas. “ All of this is fine; such theories and ideas are the foundation of research. But when we start saying that the fact that there is no evidence “doesn’t mean anything” then we are no longer playing by the rules of scientific research; we are no longer being empirical.  There’s at least as much evidence for Intelligent Design, or The Hand of God, as there is for a Phoenician journey around Africa;  there’s at least as much evidence for the idea that the Duke of Clarence was Jack the Ripper as there is for that journey; that journey is just hearsay.

Phew!  :speechless:

I’m also a big fan of Thor, and of all voyages made in rickety old boats and rafts, and of cross channel journeys in bath-tubs and in VWs. Much, much more interesting and fun than the stuff going on in Valencia right now. And I’m always very eager to hear about new archaeological discoveries and theories of migration. I’m very interested in Clive’s comments about the burial chamber in Portugal. I take it you’ve visited the ones in Antequera? They appear to be very like the ones in Anglesey (which I haven’t seen, except in photographs), and they’re quite a bit like West Kennet long barrow. The existence of these tombs provides strong evidence for the migration of peoples on this side of the ocean, even if we don’t understand the exact mechanism or cause of the migrations or know how these Neolithic people dressed or what they believed. An Egyptian origin for the culture has been postulated but, so far as I am aware, this is based solely on the fact that some of the European tombs contain crude depictions of a boat similar to the one which, according to the Egyptians, carried the sun across the sky and carried their dead to the afterlife.
 
Megalithic passage tombs are found all along the Atlantic coast of Europe. Other types of chambered tombs occur all throughout Europe, and dolmen type (single chamber) tombs also occur in Asia. But they are not found in the Americas. This does not prove that there was no trans-Atlantic crossing, but it tends to suggest a lack of intimate contact and the lack of exchange of ideas which contact and trade generally promote.

Tobacco in the pharaoh’s tomb... It is very interesting. It is suggestive. But trade, and the movement of peoples, need not be the answer.

Now I’m going to go and write about what we’re supposed to be writing about:  :sign:

Jill

Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Jill on August 06, 2007, 16:35 PM
P.S.
A few more stray thoughts (unless you’ve had more than enough of me ?) : -

1.)   Ramases, the tobacco chewing pharoh, was buried in c. 1,200 BC.  Not Stone Age.

2.)   I’ve checked around (while I should have been working / educating my kids / washing up) and  so far as I can discover the only evidence for trans-Atlantic crossings in the Stone Age seems to be

a.)   a cave painting at Pasiego, near Cueva del Castillo, in Cantabria. This is reproduced on the Abora 3 (raft adventure) website. Not everybody seems to be agreed about the age of this painting but, from what I have read so far, the best guess seems to be c. 12,000 BC. (Not everybody agrees that the painting even depicts boats, although it's hard to see what else they could be.)

b.)   Conjectured similarities between the lifestyle of the people once living in Southern France with the Inuit people.

For other people’s ramblings on this subject try this archaeology forum (http://archaeologica.boardbot.com/viewtopic.php?t=1053&postdays=0&postorder=asc&highlight=boats+jars+pots+painting&start=75)

(Guess who did that for me?) ;D
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Technopat on August 06, 2007, 17:39 PM
Greetings Jill and All,
Jill - I'm not sure I like this
Quote
A few more stray thoughts (unless you’ve had more than enough of me ?) : -
attitude that crept into the conversation. We'll have less of that, if you don't mind! I wouldn't be where I am now if ...

Your 'conjectured' actually sums up most of what our amazingly advanced human knowledge considers scientific fact - won't go into details, but you know what I mean! (That obviously doesn't mean I believe all that hype 'bout Stone Age sailors - apart from any other consideration, have you ever seen a hull, let alone a raft, made of stone? - whoops! - don't I remember reading years ago that they were making hulls out of concrete for barges or something?) OK, but my point about hype still stands.

I don't want to stray (too much) from the theme or into your private life, but surely your re. to washing up is DIRECTLY related to educating your kids? Likewise ironing, cooking, and a looooong list of other things kids - male and female - will one day have to do for themselves and suddenly find they don't know how to? OK, we could nuance about bringing up and educating ...

And, finally, for now -
Quote
A few more stray thoughts (unless you’ve had more than enough of me ?) : -
  - didn't the Stone Age last for a million years, give or take a few summers? Am off to wikipedia to check my memory.

Regs.
Technopat
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Jill on August 07, 2007, 12:05 PM
Well, if you haven’t had enough... here’s a little bit more (while Xoe cooks dinner and Caesar dives on the prop).

It’s finally dawned on me ... :roxysnail:... that we – and the Germans aboard their raft - are talking about two very different things here. Firstly, there’s the possibility that Palaeolithic (old stone age) man crossed from Spain to colonise North America. Secondly, there’s the possibility that someone, during or before the time of Rameses II, brought tobacco across from the Caribbean region to Egypt. I can’t seem to see any relationship between the two events – even if the German sailors can. Their headline should really read – Was trade possible 3,500 years ago?

The first is the thing that Steve was talking about, with people making their way along the edge of the ice, either on foot or in small boats. I quite like that idea, but... against the wind and the current, in the bitter cold, with no wood to light a fire and nothing to eat but seal-meat and fish.....? Yes, I know; the Inuit cope. (I wonder what they burn and how they light it? Rub two seal bones together and burn blubber, perhaps?) Well, it wouldn’t be my idea of fun, but it takes all sorts to colonise a world. There’s a rather heavy duty archaeological paper, here (http://cayman.globat.com/~bandstexas.com/GreenmanA.pdf), which explains the similarities in the culture on both sides of the pond. Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solutrean_hypothesis) also provides a brief outline of the evidence and a description of the theory.

Whatever else may have changed in the course of the past 14 millenia, the direction of the oceanic wind and currents must have been the same then as now, and hypothermia will have been the same then as now. On the whole I should have thought that the odds of man managing to stumble upon The New World by drifting across from Iberia (or, more probably, North Africa) to South America (as Thor Heyerdahl did in Ra) were greater than the possibility of his making it from Iberia (via France and Wales) by trudging along the ice. Still, it’s a fascinating theory. There’s no reason why he shouldn’t have arrived there from both directions, I suppose, as well as via the Bering Strait, with the animals.

This business of embedding links is dashed clever – Caesar told me how to do it, of course – but I do hope everybody realises what they are. I didn’t; in fact, I’ve only just twigged that Lisa put one in a post addressed principally to me.... Smiley Sighing Heavily goes here. Or maybe you feel that I need my Head Banged On The Wall? ‘Could be right.

Jill

But now the jolly old wifi has crashed, so you may not have the benefit of my musings for days... or weeks... and you’ll all have gone off to talk about something else. (7 Aug pm.)
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Technopat on August 07, 2007, 13:17 PM
Greetings Jill and All,
Came the dawn!
Quote
... Caesar dives on the prop
? and ?

I think the Bering Sea is the key to all this intercontinental trade, migration, holidaying, call-it-what-you-will - the fact that there is little evidence doesn't mean anything. Excavations of whole cities turn up very little hard evidence that can be conclusive, so obviously the carbon footprint of small groups of nomads traipsing around many years ago under harsh conditions would be even less so.

Quote
But now the jolly old wifi has crashed,
- now you know why Technopat is so sceptical of all things related to technology - what happens when future generations of weekend sailors people take to the sea and end up with their GPS on the blink?

Regs.,
Technopat
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Jill on August 07, 2007, 16:38 PM
Roll on the day! Ever since they put up all those GPS satellites it's been getting far too crowded out there.

Jill
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Technopat on August 08, 2007, 17:16 PM
Still trying to catch up with backlog of just ‘bout everything, and have just read in a July copy of the Economist that an article originally published in Nature (don’t have a subscription) on human evolution. Here goes The Economist version (bold print is mine):
Quote
Human evolution
The skull man

July 19th 2007
From The Economist print edition
Skulls join genes in suggesting an African origin for modern man

IN THEORY, the story that bones tell about the origins of the human race and the story that genes tell should be the same. In practice, they often start off different. Forty years ago, for example, palaeontologists thought that hominids, the group of primates that includes modern humans, had been distinct from other apes for some 25m years. Molecular biologists, however, reckoned 5m years a better estimate. With the discovery of more fossils, that has become the accepted number.

Another conflict between palaeontologists and molecular biologists seems to have been similarly resolved. Since 1987 molecular biologists have believed on the basis of DNA evidence that modern humans—Homo sapiens—originated in Africa and then spread around the world. Many palaeoanthropologists, though, disagreed. They claimed their skulls showed that modern humans had evolved all over the world from local populations of an earlier species called Homo erectus.

Well, they didn't. In this week's Nature, Andrea Manica of the University of Cambridge and his colleagues show that the skull data and the genetic data actually agree with each other—and that, once again, the molecular biologists were right.

The reason it has taken so long to come to this conclusion is that although genetic data are easy to obtain and interpret, cranial measurement is a laborious art. The breakthrough was the inclusion in the team of Tsunehiko Hanihara, of Saga Medical School in Japan, who has spent much of his life measuring skulls in various museum collections around the world. That means his data are preciously consistent (he always takes the same 37 measurements). But he had never before published them all as a single body of work.

Altogether, Dr Hanihara has measured 4,666 male skulls and 1,579 female ones, drawn from 105 groups of people from all six inhabited continents. Dr Manica's task was to show that these varied in the same way as human genetic data do.

One of the main lines of evidence for the “Out of Africa” hypothesis, as it is usually known, is that the most genetically varied human populations are in that continent—particularly in the south and east of it. The farther you go from Africa, the less genetic variety there is, because in a rapidly dispersing population genetic variety is lost faster by random failures to breed than it is replenished by evolution.

If the “Out of Africa” hypothesis is right, that decreasing variability should be reflected in skull shape—since this is ultimately under genetic control. As far as skulls are concerned, there is one confounding variable: climate. Things such as nostril size vary with temperature and humidity in ways that suggest evolution is at work. Since Dr Manica was looking for effects other than those produced by natural selection, those things had to be eliminated. Which he did.

Using what was left, he estimated the amount of diversity in groups of skulls from different parts of the world using a statistical technique called multiple-regression analysis, and compared the resulting map with a similar map of genetic diversity. The two matched perfectly. There was no room for the influence of local populations of Homo erectus.

That, Dr Manica hopes, should be enough to bury the multiregionalist hypothesis, as the bone-based alternative to “Out of Africa” is known, once and for all. What it does not help answer is the question of whether modern humans left their African homeland once or many times. Some researchers suggest the world was peopled in two waves. The first took humans to Australia about 50,000-60,000 years ago, when rambling the length of Indonesia without getting your feet wet was possible. The second wave took them to Tierra del Fuego, the farthest scrap of land that can be walked to from Africa (at least during ice ages, when the Bering Strait can be traversed). Others prefer just the one exodus. As is often the way, an external threat is a uniting influence. But now the multiregionalists have been seen off, the “Out of Africa” winners can join battle among themselves.

I know it doesn't really belong on this thread but as there are already so many tangents here, I thought another one wouldn't matter.

Regs.
Technopat

Ps.
Oh Great and Wise etceteras - is there anyway we can screen future (and even present) iberianatureforumers in order to see if any of them are copyright lawyers commissioned by The Economist, or are those guys (and gals) freelancers (working to commissions)?  :technodevil:
Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Technopat on August 09, 2007, 14:02 PM
Greetings All,
Was going to post an external link here, but as this thread fits in nicely with the Intelligent Design one, in that I think, thanx to scientific progress, etc., we can now safely dismiss both creationism (Ussher's version, at least) and ID as valid arguments against evolution, have decided to send you all off there  (http://www.iberianatureforum.com/index.php/topic,258.20.html)  :dancing: .

Regs.
Technopat

Title: Re: WAS INTERCONTINENTAL TRADE POSSIBLE 14,000 YEARS AGO?
Post by: Jill on October 15, 2007, 21:10 PM
I have finally remembered to post this:

Sept 4th
"After sailing more than 2000 nautical miles across the Atlantic aboard the reed boat ABORA III, Dominique Görlitz has called an end to his archaeological experiment. He and his crew of 10 set out from New York City harbour on July 11, and spent 56 days at sea. A series of storms and gale-force winds broke the boat apart a week ago, providing a challenging learning opportunity for the scientist and his crew." (From the Abora website)

'Nuff said.