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Recent archaeological finds from the Mediterranean show that human ancestors traveled the high seas

 
 
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2011 09:59 am
August 15, 2011
Human precursors went to sea, team says
By Helen Chappell | McClatchy Newspapers

RALEIGH, N.C. — Early manlike creatures may have been smarter than we think. Recent archaeological finds from the Mediterranean show that human ancestors traveled the high seas.

A team of researchers that included an North Carolina State University geologist found evidence that our ancestors were crossing open water at least 130,000 years ago. That's more than 100,000 years earlier than scientists had previously thought.

Their evidence is based on stone tools from the island of Crete. Because Crete has been an island for eons, any prehistoric people who left tools behind would have had to cross open water to get there.

The tools the team found are so old that they predate the human species, said Thomas Strasser, an archaeologist from Providence College who led the team. Instead of being made by our species, Homo sapiens, the tools were made by our ancestors, Homo erectus.

The tools are very different from any others found on Crete, Strasser said. They're most similar to early stone-age tools from Africa that are about 700,000 years old, he said.

Initially the team didn't have any way to date the tools. That's where NCSU geologist Karl Wegmann came in.

At the time, Wegmann didn't know much about archaeology, but he did know quite a bit about Crete's geology. He had been figuring out the ages of Crete's rock formations to study earthquakes.

A few of the stone tools the team had discovered were embedded in those same rock formations. Those rocks were formed from ancient beach sands, Wegmann said.

Today, the rocks and the tools embedded in them are hundreds of feet above the shore. The same process that drives the region's strong earthquakes - colliding continents - is pushing Crete upward out of the sea at a rate of less than 1/20 of an inch every year - more than 35 times more slowly than fingernails grow.

The island's slow rise has preserved beaches from many eras as terraces along the coast.

The lower terraces are the easiest to date. Scientists can measure the age of seashells embedded in the rock using radioactive carbon dating. This method estimates the age of those terraces at about 45,000 and 50,000 years old.

"We know that (the tools) are tens of meters above the terrace we dated at 50,000 years old, so we know right off the bat that they have to be at least that old," Wegmann said.

But 50,000 years ago is carbon dating's limit. Anything older has to be dated using another method.

Crete's rise from the sea gives a fairly simple way of doing that. Once they know the age of lower terraces, geologists can calculate the age of higher terraces just by measuring the difference in the beaches' elevation.

If geologists know how much farther the older terrace traveled upward from the newer, and they know how fast it was going, they can figure out how long it took to get there. Or, in other words, its age, in this case a record-smashing 130,000 years old.

"The thing to me that really makes this unique and exciting is ... these other sister species maybe weren't entirely stupid like we portray them," Wegmann said. "They were capable of really complex things."

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/08/15/120816/human-precursors-went-to-sea-team.html#ixzz1VCwwXcq5
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farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2011 02:54 pm
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Many geologists are of the opinion that, during several Tertiary and Quaternary ice epochs, Crete was joined to the mainland. So far, no counter evidence has been presented and several fossil elephants including Dienotherium and Mammut have been found on Crete. So rather than "swimming erectii" maybe they walked overland .
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2011 03:00 pm
@farmerman,

Or walked across an ice sheet at a different time, carrying a deerhide toolbag.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2011 03:03 pm
@McTag,
Ice didnt reach that far south I believe. (ALthough Im not certain since my main use of Ice extents has been in the US where we map deposits that have been ice rafted or abraided), like Titanium or gold and platinum.
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2011 03:55 pm
The Mediterranean Sea level was a hundred feet or more lower in the Ice Age also the Mediterranean Sea actually dried up two or three times as there are salt flats layers at the bottom.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Aug, 2011 05:41 pm
@talk72000,
Actually the drawdown of te Med occured in what was called the "Messinian Saline crisis" where the western end of the Med was blocked and the sea dried up in a few thousand years (All this occured about 5.9 Mya. (according to Hsu, Ryan and Pittman). The Messinian dry ws terminated by a huge regional flood event called the Zanclean or Zanciean (I dont have my stratigraphy "cheat sheet" Im at the beach). The model to consider from todays world is the Afar triangle and the area of the Dead Sea little hypersaline "lakes occured with huge stretches of desert about. All these are tectonically active areas and once the tectonics caught up and Gibraltar area opened, the Med reflooded at about 5.33 Mya. So Homo erectus may not have wandered into Europe,let alone come from AFrica yet, But who knows, we are continually seeing new evidence for how ancient or less ancient some of these ancestors were.

I think that the Homo erectus folks came over during the first series of ALpine Glacial events and the sea stands were about 350 METERS lower.

E. Dubois had done a lot of work on H habilis (Erectus sub sp) at the :Java Man" sites where obviously the JAva dude also hadda swim or walk on a landstand. Also, he calc'd that H erectus came into Europe by anywhere from 1Mya to about 0.4Mya. The Acheulian culture is attributed to these guys and they already had the typical Acheulian tools, they lived in huts, they had fire, and they were communally organized , and did seasonal migrating as well as splitting off splinter groups that would start other settlements (these were analyzed by F dating and radioactive decay of teeth as well as stratigraphic emplacement of their **** and dead)
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 07:28 am
@farmerman,
You are correct--the Wurms glaciation was stopped in its southward progress by the Alps and the Dolomites. It reached the valleys of the Danube in the east and the Seine in the west. I don't belive it is known how far south into the Ukraine it reached.
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 08:16 am
@Setanta,

Okay no ice, no water, just land.

Problem solved, they walked.

This scientific research stuff is easy-peasy.
0 Replies
 
BumbleBeeBoogie
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Aug, 2011 09:41 am
@farmerman,
I enjoy so much what I learn from you, Farmerman. A2K is so lucky to have your knowledge.

BBB
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 03:49 am
@BumbleBeeBoogie,
Its not my knowledge, these guys named Ryan, Pittm,an, and Hsu were the pioneers of interpretation of the MEditerranean basin through the last 15 million years. Its been postulared that several of these inundation events at the Med and the Black Seas were actually responsib;e for the Biblical account of "The Flood".They make a really good argument cause it appears that there, especially at the Black Sea, there were entire villages located along the ancient "Pre Flood margin" of the Sea. These villages were inundated very rapidly surpising and killing inhabitants.
While the Med happened in the end of the Miocene, the Black Sea events occured as a result of glacial meltwater so occured less than 10K Ya.
I think its a good bit of hard evidence that underpins a flood myth that appears in several religions.

As far as Crete, the elephant fossils are big chunks of evidence that there was a form of a "land Bridge" that spanned the distance. Im certain that some geological agency or some grad student has been drilling the area between the mainland and Crete
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 02:58 pm
@farmerman,
Quote:
the Biblical account of "The Flood"

could be closer to home.

http://www.semp.us/_images/biots/Biot422PhotoA.gif

During the Ice Age the Persin Gulf was practically dry.

Quote:
This research had demonstrated that about 14,000 B.C. the entire present Persian Gulf was a dry valley through which coursed both the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers, which emptied directly into the Gulf of Oman. The Gulf is very shallow in topography. Its maximum depth today is 270 feet and its average depth is around 150 feet.

http://www.semp.us/_images/biots/Biot422PhotoA.gif
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 03:49 pm
@talk72000,
same thing around the Sunda sea islands and the areas between ENgland and the mainland. Bering straits , the entire North Sea area was a big frozen marshy plain
McTag
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 03:55 pm
@farmerman,

Quote:
the areas between ENgland and the mainland


Excuse me, England (UK) IS the mainland.
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 01:05 pm
@farmerman,
Ooops, here is the website:
http://www.semp.us/publications/biot_reader.php?BiotID=422

Quote:
Figure 4: Reconstruction of the palaeoshorelines, ice sheet for Ireland and the Irish Sea at about 15,000 years ago. A narrow land bridge is likely to have developed from about 18,000 to 14,000 years BP across the southern Irish Sea. The contours give the predicted sea-level change between this epoch and the present.

http://rses.anu.edu.au/geodynamics/AnnRep/95/AR-Geod954.gif
http://rses.anu.edu.au/geodynamics/AnnRep/95/AR-Geod95.html
0 Replies
 
talk72000
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 01:51 pm
Quote:
What was the depth of the Mediterranean Sea during the last Ice Age?

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_depth_of_the_Mediterranean_Sea_during_the_last_Ice_Age#ixzz1VVQqfL00


Quote:
If one reviews the full extent of the last ice age, there is proof that the Mediterranean Sea was cut off from the Atlantic Ocean for an unknown period of time due to the drop of the Atlantic Ocean from the transfer of its water to the glaciers, ice fields and expanded ice flows and ice sheets. That which happened in the Arctic, happened in Antarctica.

The cut off point would be a silt dam at the Strait of Gibraltar. There are various places in the Mediterranean Sea that would have changed to fresh water lakes over a period of maybe 10s of thousands of years.

More study is needed, but if one researches, one will discover that part of the timetable for refilling of the Mediterranean Sea happened roughly just several thousand years ago. How long was it cut off from the Atlantic Ocean?

What would the cutoff Mediterranean Sea looked like after thousands of years of Ice Age run off and silt from hundreds of rivers around the Sea? This would have changed the shore lines of the Mediterranean Sea. There would be two land bridges at Gibraltar and at the boot toe of Italy.

The new fresh water seas would have been bordered by commerce. The area of the Mediterranean would have had a different climate due to the compression of Typography towards the Equator. Rain was common.

The Mediterranean Sea of today would have been much different just 12,000 years ago. The Myths of Atlantis and Eden could have basis.

Add 16 Dec. 2010

Here is more evidence that the Mediterranean Sea was cut off from The Atlantic Ocean. A news release out of Libya
reflects that Libya was once flooded by the Mediterranean Sea with fresh water.

"The most important of these aquifers, or water bearing rock strata, were laid down during a geological time when the Mediterranean Sea flowed southward to the foot of the Tibesti Mountains, that are situated on Libya's border with Chad."

This brings us to two questions that need to be addressed.
One, With The Atlantic Ocean cut off at Gibraltar Strait, with rivers during the ice age dumping dumping silt and forming large unrestrained deltas, knowing that rains fell here during the ice age creating an unknown topography that allowed farming, how much silt would be needed to fill the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea bed east of the Italy boot?

Two, would there have been enough silt to form the fourth river in Genesis 2 as described and make its way off the coast of present day Israel and Syria and cut through the Suez gap to Egypt?

If so, strongly speculating, then the Jordan River and the Dead Sea would have been the third river and made it's way to the Red Sea. The Tigris and Euphrates would have been fed as stated from a major river flowing in the area between Turkey and Cyprus.

If there was a tremendous amount of fresh water from rains, not common at this time and periodic runoff from the glaciers and ice sheets north and south of the Mediterranean Sea bed as we know it today and a tremendous amount of silt dumped into the sea bed we would have had a different picture of the Mediterranean sea bed. There could have been the major river and the four rivers mentioned in Genesis.

Where is the Mediterranean silt today?

The power of the last ice age deluge can be found in the USA in the making of the Columbia River Gorge, The Badlands, The Scablands of Washington State, the Ohio River, Mammoth Cave, The Tennessee River Valley and the English Channel to name some samples. It is said the silt from the Appalachian Mountains can be found from Utah to Texas.

Could the ice age deluge, using the Volga and other major rivers in the sea bed have washed away the silt?

Maybe.

The final solution then remains, is chapter 2 of Genesis poetry or a handed down oral history from 15,000 to 20,000 years ago?

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_depth_of_the_Mediterranean_Sea_during_the_last_Ice_Age#ixzz1VVRRJJsm

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_depth_of_the_Mediterranean_Sea_during_the_last_Ice_Age#ixzz1VVRBXuR5


http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_was_the_depth_of_the_Mediterranean_Sea_during_the_last_Ice_Age

Quote:
An Ice Age Mediterranean Scene as it may have appeared.

http://www.resurrectisis.org/IceAge1_files/tline.jpg

http://www.resurrectisis.org/IceAge.htm
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