Urghhh. I think this ice storm screwed up our internet.
Traces of coca and nicotine found in Egyptian mummies - WTF fun facts
well DUH. a lot of historians are still trying to process the fact that ancient egyptians knew how to build boats, which is ridiculous. why would they not be seafarers and explorers?
this is not new or surprising information at all. it pretty much day one of any african-american studies course.
the egyptians knew that if they put their boats in front of the summer storm winds it’d blow them right across the sea to the Americas and they shared that with the greeks.
It’s really hard for people to understand that everyone had boats, exploration, and trade interactions without the same level of murder, colonization, and violence that the Europeans did. It’s really hard for people to get that.
The Sea-Craft of Prehistory (book; Eurocentric as heck)
Scientific Evidence for Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages (273 pages-for the hardcore only!):The only plausible explanation for these findings is that a considerable number of transoceanic voyages in both directions across both major oceans were completed between the 7th millennium BC and the European age of discovery. Our growing knowledge of early maritime technology and its accomplishments gives us confidence that vessels and nautical skills capable of these long-distance travels were developed by the times indicated. These voyages put a new complexion on the extensive Old World/New World cultural parallels that have long been controversial.
I thought about whether or not to respond to this, as it is 1:30am and I am not sure that I wanted to go through with this very, very long response.
But my nature as a historian got the best of me. And here we are.
Firstly I must ask why the public feels as if historians are purposefully hiding info from them? I would be willing to entertain that perhaps certain institutions would withhold info, but normally its so they can present it in the best way possible. (I feel however, that this is another topic for another time).
I will be upfront and I say met this post with quite a bit of skepticism from the get go. As someone who very interested in history, specifically ancient history, this obviously caught my attention. I have spent pretty much my entire life learning and studying about the ancient cultures of the Mediterranean region, first as self taught and then in formal education.
As such, there are a few things I must point out about these pieces of “evidence.” Some of these works are, in fact, legitimate sources, which seems to have gone through the peer-review procedure. The rest, however, are something to be desired.
But I must clear up a few things. I am more than willing to accept any early civilization as seafaring (at least in the most rudimentary of senses). Any culture that spends a extended portion of time near water will develop seafaring abilities. Roaming, hunting, and gathering would not have always been valid options for these early peoples. The sea was a abundant resources and to not have used would have most likely have meant death for those people.
The Egyptians in particular were very advanced and it is generally accepted by most people they had a Navy of some type by an early period. By the Reign of Akhenaten they were proficient in sea faring and ship building, as they are mentioned in the Amarna Letters. Their encounters with the Sea Peoples started as a naval conflict before moving onto land. The Egyptians were comfortable around water (because they lived on a river) and they developed an empire which stretched from their border with the Kushites all the way into the region of Canaan and into Assyrian and the Fertile Crescent region of Mesopotamia. NOT to have an Navy would have left much of their very strategic borders unprotected. They were also aware of currents, as they use the Nile as a source for transporting almost anything over a long distance. They knew that going north you would go with the current, and south against it.
The Egyptians were not the only early civilization with sea faring technology by a long shot. While perhaps the above links are not the best source material, they do demonstrate that people all around the world had the know how to build boats, to deep sea fish, ect. But it would be a stretch to say they were all worthy of sailing on an open ocean.
Most people, when they did sail, did something called island hopping. Essentially, they sailed along the coast in order to never lose sight of land (or if they did it wasn’t for very long). The entire Mediterranean sea trade followed this rule for centuries. I would image this would be a common method of travel for those who lived in regions with numerous islands or along other coast lines. In fact, many people continued to sail along the coast even after Columbus made his voyage across the Atlantic in 1492 because it was the established practice. (I should note that there has been talk of China also sailing to the Americas around this time, but I am not as well versed on that).
One of the things these early civilizations lacked was the ability to tell their geographic located WITHOUT seeing land. While people were certainly studying the stars and other heavenly phenomenon, the ability to discern an EXACT GEOGRAPHIC LOCATION was long off. And sailing on the ocean is nothing like sailing on a river or even in a sea. The ocean has it’s own set of current and weather patterns. The Atlantic, for example, has the gulf stream, which allowed for speedier travel from the British Colonies to Britain. Other such streams and underwater currents certainly helped seafarers, but without the ability to location their position, they would have been floating aimlessly in a great body of water with no access to provisions outside of the ones they brought for MONTHS at a time.
There is also the issue of such knowledge not being transferred over time. While much knowledge was lost in the west after the fall of the Roman Empire, I find it hard to believe that we have not had any material evidence from the civilizations themselves detailing these explorations. It would have been a monumental achievement, as it was in 1492. Not to say we won’t find something in the future, but it seems unlikely.
So yes, they could sail and they did. Sea trade was a prominent part of most economies in the Ancient World. But they could not, as far as we know, traverse oceans.
Why did Benedict Cumberbatch walk on stage with the cast of Twelve Years a Slave?
because he’s a fucking douchebag
this may be my favorite post on this entire website
the best thing about pets is when you just wanna be lazy, they’ll be lazy with you.
this is ridiculous stop it immediately