Saturday, October 07, 2006

Early humans followed the coast
Professor Jon Erlandson says the maritime capabilities of ancient humans have been greatly underestimated.

He has found evidence that early peoples in California pursued a sophisticated seafaring lifestyle 10,000 years ago.

Anthropologists have long regarded the exploitation of marine resources as a recent development in human history, and as peripheral to the development of civilisation.

This view has been reinforced by a relative lack of evidence of ancient occupation in coastal areas.

But that view is gradually changing; genetic studies, for example, suggest a major early human expansion out of Africa occurred along the southern coastline of Asia, leading to the colonisation of Australia 50,000 years ago.

There's not much really new on the marine-migration angle, but some interesting stuff that's been found on the Channel islands, though really nothing that supports the marine hypothesis.