more on ocean voyages

Glenn R. Morton (
Sat, 12 Sep 1998 16:30:32 -0500

Yesterday Nando reported some work by Australian archaeologist working in

The report can be found at:

It says:

"Robert Bednarik, said an Indonesian-Australian team and two Australian
expeditions working in the islands of Flores, Timor and Roti had made
"sensational" discoveries about the seafaring prowess of homo erectus, the
human species which preceded homo sapiens."

The evidence for H. erectus seafaring is expanding to more than just
Flores, which I have reported upon earlier. The report relates:

"Those who had managed the feat included elephants because they could swim
for long distances. Humans however had to use watercraft to cross such sea
barriers in sufficient numbers to found new populations, he said."

"Bednarik said homo erectus had to cross the Lombek Strait before sailing
to Sumbawa and then on to Flores. He said various dating methods all
pointed to a human occupation of central Flores about 800,000 years ago.
However lower deposits dating from about 900,000 years ago, had shown no
evidence of human presence."

"Similar evidence of the presence of homo erectus had been found on Timor
and on Roti but it had not been possible to date this as precisely, the
Australian scientist told the International Rock Art Congress being held in
this northern Portuguese town said."

And the conclusion of this ability sheds interesting light upon the
abilities of H. erectus.

"Bednarik said the work being carried out "completely revolutionizes our
understanding of human revolution. Homo erectus must have been
technologically and cognitively far more advanced than we ever imagined. "

"This species must have possessed language and a sufficiently complex
society to organize such colonization attempts. It now appears that
seafaring capability first developed in the region of Indonesia, especially
around Java perhaps a million years ago. "


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