Neanderthal seafarers may have ventured to the Mediterranean islands more than 12,000 years ago.
Up until now it was believed that the first people to reach the islands of the Mediterranean were Stone Age farmers and shepherds, but new archaeological finds suggest that the islands may have been visited before this. Obsidian from the Aegean island of Melos discovered on the mainland for example has been found dating back 11,000 years while artifacts found on Cyprus date back even further.
"We found evidence that human hunters may have helped drive pygmy hippos to extinction on Cyprus about 12,000 years ago," said archaeologist Alan Simmons. "There's still a lot to find in archaeology - you have to keep pushing the envelope in terms of conventional wisdom."
"Neanderthals and other extinct human lineages might have been ancient mariners, venturing to the Mediterranean islands thousands of years earlier than previously thought."
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Source: Live Science
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