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The people of the sea


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#1    UM-Bot

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 11:12 AM

<strong class='bbc'>Image credit: Jason Vanderhill</strong>
Image credit: Jason Vanderhill
William B Stoecker: Conventional archaeology in recent years is being challenged by new discoveries proving (even to the satisfaction of the academics) that Mankind is far older than previously believed, and that civilizations existed before the dawn of recorded history. Even many mainstream physical anthropologists now admit that fully modern Homo Sapiens is at least 275,000 years old, and cities over 9,000 years old have been found under water on the continental shelves, particularly off the coast of India. And an Ice Age city with megalithic stone construction has been found in Turkey. But what no one has really emphasized is the importance of seafaring in human history and prehistory. We are, and apparently always have been, a race of sailors and navigators, harvesting the abundant food resources of the world's oceans, and using them as highways for trade and colonization.
    
Until recently, conventional archaeologists and historians rejected out of hand any suggestion that anyone save the ancestors of the Amerindians (via the Bering land bridge) could have travelled from the Old World to the Americas prior to Columbus. Even Viking accounts of "Vinland" were dismissed by many historians, until the ruins of a Viking colony were discovered in Canada. Even now, suggestions that Basque and Portuguese fisherman, Irish monks, or Phoenicians or Romans might have, now and then, crossed the Atlantic are routinely dismissed despite considerable evidence.  Likewise most historians scoff at any suggestion that the Chinese, the Japanese, or even those intrepid sailors, the Polynesians, could ever have crossed the Pacific, or, for that matter, any speculation that the first Amerindians might have crossed the Bering Sea on boats after the Ice Age and journeyed down the West Coast of the Americas on the water as well as moving inland on foot. The conventional view is that, during the Ice Age, their masochistic ancestors, not satisfied with life in the more southerly regions of Asia, migrated north into Siberia, a region that is bitterly cold even today, and did so when it was colder still. Supposedly, they then wandered across Beringia and somehow made their way south past the ice sheets covering much of North America. Right.
    
To be sure, it is unlikely that there were frequent contacts between the Old World and the New in the time between the end of the Ice Age and the time of Columbus. If there had been, there would be more historical records, and the exchange of food crops and diseases and domestic animals that took place after 1492 would have taken place much sooner. But occasional crossings are possible, even probable, and there could have been much more extensive contact in prehistoric times.
    
Many archaeologists and historians act as though an ocean crossing is virtually impossible without modern technology, or at least Renaissance caravels, and, to be sure, the ocean is a rough neighborhood and even today ships sink or simple vanish. But human beings thrive on challenges. People have sailed alone around the world on small sailing yachts, and so many have rowed (yes, rowed) across the Atlantic that organized races are held. A few people have, incredibly, rowed across the Pacific. In 1947 Thor Heyerdahl and his crew sailed a balsa raft, the Kon Tiki, from Peru to the Tuamotu islands, some 4,300 miles. Tim Severin and his crew sailed a replica of an Irish leather-skinned boat, or curragh, from Ireland to the Hebrides, Faeroes, Iceland, and Greenland in 1976-77. The ancient Phoenicians sailed everywhere in the Mediterranean, and past the Straits of Gibraltar at least as far as Cornwall, to trade for tin. They may have circumnavigated Africa long before the Portuguese navigators of the Renaissance. And let us not forget those Stone Age sailors, the Polynesians. So the automatic rejection of any possibility of pre-Viking crossings tells us more about the mindset of conventional historians than it does about real human history. A certain amount of skepticism and conservatism is necessary in any field of study...but not a mindless adherence to the status quo.
    
At least as far back as Ignatius Donnelly and his books on Atlantis, people have pointed out the multitude of cultural and technological similarities between Eurasia and pre Columbian America, and there is neither the space nor the need to list them here. But, adding to all the other connections, in recent years Egyptian mummies have given at least some evidence for an ancient drug trade. German anthropologists Dr. Franz Porsche and Dr. Wolfgang Pirsig and Dr. Svetlana Balabanara in the nineteen eighties found traces of cocaine in Egyptian mummies, as well as tobacco. They found THC (tertrahydrocannabinal, the active ingredient in marijuana and hashish) in Peruvian mummies. Supposedly, marijuana was not found in the pre Columbian Americas, nor tobacco and cocaine in the Old World, although there is a possibility that some form of tobacco was used.
    
And the existence of people on various islands from the very earliest of times is proof positive that entire family groups made at least relatively short sea voyages. Malta, some 93 miles from the nearest land (Sicily), was settled at least as far back as 7,200 BP (before present). Crete, fairly close to other Aegean islands that could have served as stepping stones from Anatolia (the ancient Minoans had Anatolian genetics and we now know that there were prehistoric civilizations in what is now Turkey) was inhabited by 8,000 BP at the latest, and Cyprus, some 105 kilometers from Syria, by 12,000 BP. When Spanish explorers reached the Canary Islands, some 100 kilometers west of Africa, they found a group of people there collectively known as the Guanches, who seem, based on linguistic and genetic evidence, to be related to the Berbers of North Africa. In Roman times, not only did the Romans reach the Canary Islands, but so did King Juba II of the African kingdom of Mauritania, who reported stone buildings and no people. So the Romans and Africans were sailing out into the Atlantic long before the Vikings or Columbus. In the town of Guimar on Tenerife in the Canary Islands are six rectangular step pyramids of mostly undressed stone, some as high as forty feet. The "skeptics" suggest that they were merely piles of stones removed by Spanish colonists from their fields...but no farmers have the time, energy, or inclination to build such structures...they would simply have used them for walls around their fields, like the later New England colonists. Note (and this was pointed out by Thor Heyerdahl) their similarity to New World pyramids.
    
Columbus travelled first to the Canary Islands to catch the westerly trade winds and the favorable current. In addition to deep ocean currents driven by thermohaline convection, there are five mainly wind driven oceanic gyres, or roughly circular currents, due to coriolis forces. As winds in the northern hemisphere move south they are driven west...or rather the Earth, turning faster at the equator, moves east beneath them. So the Gulf Stream and the north Pacific gyre move clockwise, and the south Pacific and Indian Ocean gyres turn counter clockwise. The first inhabitants of the Canary Islands were thus in a perfect position to sail west to the Americas, although there is no proof that they did so.
    
Iceland was visited by Vikings from Norway and finally settled by Ingolfur Arnarson in 874 AD; it is 420 kilometers from the Faeroe Islands and 970 kilometers from Norway. The Vikings sailed these cold and stormy seas, remember, in open boats far smaller even than Columbus' caravels, and their square sails did not permit them to tack very closely into the wind. The Vikings said that they found Irish monks already living in Iceland, and this fits with Saint Brendan's claims that he sailed far into the Atlantic in the early sixth century; he described an island at least resembling volcanic Iceland, and, conceivably, may even have reached America.  Tim Severin's voyage at least proves the feasibility of such a journey.
    
Now even some mainstream archaeologists are beginning to consider the possibility of prehistoric sea voyages from Europe to America. Ancient skeletons like Kennewick Man have a bone structure resembling that of Europeans, and predate any clearly Asian remains. All over what is now the United States and as far south as Venezuela, researchers have found a particular style of spear point called the Clovis Point, since the first one was found in Clovis, New Mexico. Some of these date back to 13,500 BP, during the last Ice Age, and the oldest are found in the eastern part of North America. These points are identical to those made by the Solutrean culture at that time...but the Solutreans (possibly descended from the Cro Magnons) lived in what is now southwest France and northwest Spain. Skeptics would be quick to point out that the Solutreans were hunter-gatherers, not fishermen and seamen, but the only remnants of their culture we can access are from inland, because, during the Ice Age, sea levels were much lower and the European coast extended far out into what is now the Bay of Biscay. The coastal Solutreans' remains are thus under water, and they could well have been (and probably were) fishermen and canoe builders.
    
About 10,000 BP the Clovis points in America began to be replaced by the shorter Folsom points. Note that this was after the Ice Age in a period when the Earth was actually substantially warmer than today, making it relatively easy for people from northeast Asia to cross the Bering Sea and the North Pacific. So did the ancestors of the Amerindians steal America from the Europeans long before the Europeans stole it back? They might easily have overcome the Clovis People, for these possibly European settlers had been weakened and almost wiped out by a catastrophic event.
    
The last Ice Age was gradually ending, with warmer temperatures melting the great ice sheets when, quite suddenly around 12,900 BP, the Earth became much colder during a period known as the Younger Dryas. This mysterious cooling might conceivably have been caused by a disruption in North Atlantic thermohaline currents due to the sudden release of fresh water from the prehistoric Lake Agassiz. But there has always been another mystery...the sudden extinction of great Pleistocene animals in North America, including lions, cheetahs, mammoths, and camels. The later Clovis sites are covered by a "black mat" of organic debris. Immediately below these mats is a layer containing magnetized iron particles, iridium, nano diamonds, and Buckminster fullerenes (submicroscopic carbon lattices) containing helium isotopes rare on Earth. It has been suggested that a comet exploding over the Laurentide ice sheet would explain all of this, including the mass extinction, the virtual end of Clovis culture, and the climatic cooling (due to dust in the upper atmosphere reflecting sunlight).
    
Meanwhile, in the Pacific, early Man was sailing regularly over immense stretches of open water. The earliest (conventionally recognized) human remains in Australia date to about 50,000 BP (Mungo Man), and in New Guinea to at least as far back as 40,000 BP. Remember that during the Ice Age, with its lower sea levels, Australia, Tasmania, and New Guinea were one continent...but that continent was still separated from the Southeast Asian peninsula and archipelago by at least thirty miles of deep water. Stranger still, the few surviving Tierra del Fuegan Indians have, per DNA studies, a close resemblance to Australian Aborigines. Skulls of people resembling Australian Aborigines have been found as far away as Brazil and even Baja California (although, supposedly, DNA shows the remains in Baja to be of standard Amerindian (northeast Asian) origin. Skeletons of people resembling Aborigines have been found also in eastern Brazil, and cave paintings resembling the art work of Australians. So did people related to Australian Aborigines cross the Pacific in prehistoric times? From a point north of New Zealand early sailors could have caught the South Pacific gyre to help them reach South America...but even getting as far as New Zealand would have been a difficult undertaking.
  
Yet no journey seems too difficult for the early Pacific islanders.Micronesians and Melanesians spread throughout the Southwest Pacific. The Polynesians went much further, settling Samoa and Tonga by 3,000 BP, and ultimately reaching Hawaii (by 2,300 BP) and New Zealand and even Easter Island (Rapa Nui) some 1,289 miles from the nearest land, Pitcairn's Island, and only 2,180 miles from Chile. Did the Polynesians cross some five thousand miles of the Pacific and then stop there? Prehistoric chicken bones of Southeast Asian origin have been found in South America, and South American sweet potatoes were all over Polynesia. The Pacific Northwest Indians made sixty foot canoes of Douglas fir and had some cultural resemblances to the Polynesians; perhaps Thor Heyerdahl was partly correct and voyages were made in both directions.
    
The Polynesians made dugout canoes, and also enlarged them with strakes above the gunwales, and later made boats entirely of planks stitched together with rope and then caulked. They made outriggers for stability, masts, and  triangular sails of pandanus matting, which would have allowed them to sail fairly closely into the wind. And they made catamarans 40-60 feet long. Their highly skilled navigators, who belonged to guilds, had to memorize vast amounts of information about the stars, wave directions, weather, and the flights of sea birds, enabling them to find tiny atolls in the vast and seemingly trackless ocean. Hitting a continent would be child's play.
    
And wherever the Amerindians came from, once in the Americas many of them continued to be sailors. The Carib Indians were all over the Caribbean before 1400, and the Arawaks were there much earlier, and were part of a language group stretching from the islands to as far south as Bolivia. There is at least one stone age site on the island of Trinidad, the Bannori Trace, which dates to 7,000 BP.
    
It is easy to see how our ancestors might have become such accomplished navigators, even if we can only speculate. The seacoasts, especially near river mouths, are obviously prime habitat, with milder climates as a rule than is the case inland, and abundant food resources, and plenty of salt to trade. People fishing in the surf might soon learn to float and paddle about by hand on logs; eventually they could have developed paddles and oars shaped like a human hand and arm. They would have learned to flatten the tops of their logs for better seating, and then to streamline them more and to hollow them out, so that they evolved into dugout canoes. They could not help but notice the effects of wind upon them, and eventually to use mats for sails, and then to develop masts. A dugout canoe, remember, may seem primitive to us, but it is inherently stronger and more leak resistant than any boat made of planks.
    
And now, if our current civilization does not collapse or degenerate into global fascism, we may be poised to leave this island planet and sail out upon the greatest sea of all...outer space. And, speculating further, perhaps we should ask ourselves, as evidence of prehistoric civilizations continues to mount, if people from right here, related to our own ancestors, might not have already done so, thousands of years ago. And perhaps one day they will return to visit us, their distant relatives. Or perhaps they already have.

William B Stoecker

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#2    markdohle

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Posted 25 October 2009 - 02:33 PM

Interesting, I wonder how far back we really go and also how for out there we will one day go?

Peace
Mark


#3    Archer1945

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 02:42 AM

View Postmarkdohle, on 25 October 2009 - 02:33 PM, said:

Interesting, I wonder how far back we really go and also how for out there we will one day go?

Peace
Mark

There is a book, I read years ago, called 100,000 Years of Man's Unrecorded History, which is quite interesting. Don't remember the author but he delved into all the discoveries that have been made over the years that don't fit into accepted theories. Some of the discoveries were made in coal deposits which were dated in the millions of years old; try figure out who lost a spark plug which was found inside a chunk of coal or the perfectly shaped cube of steel found in an other chunk of coal.


#4    Harte

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Posted 26 October 2009 - 07:52 PM

View PostUM-Bot, on 25 October 2009 - 11:12 AM, said:

<strong class='bbc'>Image credit: Jason Vanderhill</strong>
Image credit: Jason Vanderhill
William B Stoecker: Conventional archaeology in recent years is being challenged by new discoveries proving (even to the satisfaction of the academics) that Mankind is far older than previously believed, and that civilizations existed before the dawn of recorded history.
There's been absolutely no evidence of this whatsoever.

Quote

Even many mainstream physical anthropologists now admit that fully modern Homo Sapiens is at least 275,000 years old, and cities over 9,000 years old have been found under water on the continental shelves particularly off the coast of India.
No such cities exist.

Quote

And an Ice Age city with megalithic stone construction has been found in Turkey.
No "Ice Age city" has ever been found.  This is simple misinformation.

Quote

Until recently, conventional archaeologists and historians rejected out of hand any suggestion that anyone save the ancestors of the Amerindians (via the Bering land bridge) could have travelled from the Old World to the Americas prior to Columbus.
That's a lie based on the ignorance of the writer.

Quote

Even now, suggestions that Basque and Portuguese fisherman, Irish monks, or Phoenicians or Romans might have, now and then, crossed the Atlantic are routinely dismissed despite considerable evidence.  Likewise most historians scoff at any suggestion that the Chinese, the Japanese, or even those intrepid sailors, the Polynesians, could ever have crossed the Pacific, or, for that matter, any speculation that the first Amerindians might have crossed the Bering Sea on boats after the Ice Age and journeyed down the West Coast of the Americas on the water as well as moving inland on foot.
Given that the bolded part above is today generally accepted as one of the means by which the Americas was populated, the author's assertion here that this idea is "scoffed at" by academia is nothing short of breathtakingly idiotic, as is his claim that it is "historians" doing the scoffing.

Please.  Historian study history.  They do not track the movements of prehistoric people.  That is the work of Anthropologists and Archaeologists.

Perhaps Mr. Stoecker should conduct some research and maybe garner a smattering of education prior to posting his ignorant and baseless claims.

Showing how Stoecker is lying is a waste of my time, if not yours, so I won't go into the rest of his garbage.  But there two last idiocies in this hopelessly misinformed mish-mash of malapropistic manure I feel are worth responding to:

Quote

Ancient skeletons like Kennewick Man have a bone structure resembling that of Europeans, and predate any clearly Asian remains.
Kennewick Man has been found not to be related in the least to any European. In fact, he was from one of the groups that came from Siberia.  If Stoecker is not aware of this recently unveiled fact, then why isn't he and why is he posting about it without even trying to find out?

Quote

All over what is now the United States and as far south as Venezuela, researchers have found a particular style of spear point called the Clovis Point, since the first one was found in Clovis, New Mexico. Some of these date back to 13,500 BP, during the last Ice Age, and the oldest are found in the eastern part of North America. These points are identical to those made by the Solutrean culture at that time
Pardon me.  There was no Solutrean culture "at that time."

They disappeared thousands of years earlier

Also, no Clovis popint ever found was ever "identical" to any Solutrean point.

So, now it's okay for an "author" to simply make up the "facts" right off the top of his head?

This guy is far too much.

Harte

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#5    kystranger

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Posted 27 October 2009 - 12:53 PM

Actually Harte there is evidence of cities located on the continental shelf in India.  Just a simple search will reveal the following articles:

http://www.atimes.co...a/EE02Df02.html

http://www.archaeolo.../lost-city.html

There are many more articles, but these two are somewhat more reputable than the other links (or at least in my opinion they are).  These two articles also talk about the same city, but there are other cities that have been uncovered.  The city in the articles I listed predate the Harrapan civilization and are actually estimated to be over 9000 years old.  Given that at the time sea levels were much lower, and people naturally settle close to water, it is very understandable that there could be similar cities in many places.  I seem to remember some Indonesian archaelogists looking for the same types of cities off the coasts of various islands in Indonesia.  I could probably find the articles, but there is something else I want to address.

Historians and anthropologists are uncovering artifacts and sites that are pushing back the dates commonly accepted for humanity.  Two really striking examples are the Blombos cave and a discovery in Southern Africa of a clambake.  Both articles can be viewed here:

http://en.wikipedia....ki/Blombos_cave

http://www.uh.edu/en...pi1908.htm  (in case you don't trust the wikipedia entry here is the University of Houston)

http://www.reuters.c...ame=scienceNews

What makes these sites so striking is that there are signs of modern human cognitive development.  It is now believed that these sites were populated (perhaps only temporarily) with a group of people that had language and a developed culture (including the use of makeup).  Does this prove that advanced civilization existed that far in the past?  No, absolutely not.  But it does illustrate that our distant ancestors were more advanced than modern history and anthropology are willing to admit.


#6    Harte

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Posted 28 October 2009 - 04:44 PM

The so-called "city" in the Gulf of Cambay is bogus.

The "artifacts" that this site calls pottery are actually geofacts, in this case the remains of tubes constructed by tubeworms.

Note they were dredged up.

Also, why would anyone be surprised to find old wood and old beads in a gulf that receives runoff from almost half of India?

There are no Ice-Age cities that have been discovered anywhere.  None.

The author of the posted article is talking about a temple Gobekli Tepe.

He transforms this single temple into an ice age city to serve his own agenda.

His article is loaded with multiple examples of the same kind of lies for the same reasons.

Harte

I've consulted all the sages I could find in yellow pages but there aren't many of them. - The Alan Parsons Project
Most people would die sooner than think; in fact, they do so. - Bertrand Russell
Ignorance is preferable to error; and he is less remote from the truth who believes nothing, than he who believes what is wrong. - Thomas Jefferson
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#7    donehung

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 08:41 AM

View PostHarte, on 28 October 2009 - 04:44 PM, said:

The so-called "city" in the Gulf of Cambay is bogus.

The "artifacts" that this site calls pottery are actually geofacts, in this case the remains of tubes constructed by tubeworms.

Note they were dredged up.

Also, why would anyone be surprised to find old wood and old beads in a gulf that receives runoff from almost half of India?

There are no Ice-Age cities that have been discovered anywhere.  None.

The author of the posted article is talking about a temple Gobekli Tepe.

He transforms this single temple into an ice age city to serve his own agenda.

His article is loaded with multiple examples of the same kind of lies for the same reasons.

Harte



#8    donehung

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Posted 03 November 2009 - 09:10 AM

I personally find the fact that there are not many signs of civilization dating before the last ice age to be irrelavent. The fact remains that sea levels were much lower around that time. When you couple that with the fact that high percentages of humans have always lived in costal areas, you can imagine how many civilizations may have been washed away with the rising waters post ice age. Furthermore if you factor in that modern "humans" [people with the same brain capacity as us} have been around for 250,000 years and multiple ice ages have occurred in that time, there is a possibility that "civilizations" along the coast may have been cyclically wiped out with the ebb and flow of the oceans. I find that, evidence such as 50,00 years old cave paintings, and 35,00 years old bone flutes to be engouraging to the belief that civilization streches further back than generally accepted and that underwater acheaology may one day prove it.


#9    Macroramphosis

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 08:58 AM

View Postdonehung, on 03 November 2009 - 09:10 AM, said:

Furthermore if you factor in that modern "humans" [people with the same brain capacity as us} have been around for 250,000 years and multiple ice ages have occurred in that time, there is a possibility that "civilizations" along the coast may have been cyclically wiped out with the ebb and flow of the oceans.

I always find it fascinating to wonder at time-spans.  If we consider this "age" of modern man to be about 26,000 years or so, how many times could the advancement of just the last 2,000 years have happened before, and what civilizations might have risen and fallen in such a time-frame ? Whilst it is believed that there is no evidence for a former highly advanced age of mankind such as we have now, I wonder sometimes if there has been another, which ended in tears, and from which some knowledge and techniques still linger on as myths, traditions, oral ancient knowledge and mis-placed artifacts. If such an idea has any foundation, I wonder if it would solve any answers.........  

Consider this passing thought of mine from another direction  -  if a world-wide nuclear war destroyed much of what we know today, and obliterated most of the world's population  -  especially the wealthier and more advanced portions of it  -  what would remain, how long would it linger for, and how long would it take for almost all trace of it to disappear  -  buildings, roads, machines and all. Would mankind in any form survive at all ? How far back down the evolutionary scale would mankind go to ?  How large a footprint would 2000 years of our civilization leave for archeologists to ponder over in 100,000 years time ?

I offer no evidence, proof, or fossil record for the basis of this passing thought  -  for that is all it is.  A thought.  It's not a belief, theory or hypothesis. Posted Image



....be gentle, Harte, please....Posted Image

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