Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Did Humans Colonize the World by Boat?
Concerned that evidence of human settlement and migration may be lost under the sea, researchers are finding new ways of tracking ancient mariners. By combining archaeological studies on remote islands with computer simulations of founding populations and detailed examinations of seafloor topography and ancient sea level, they are amassing crucial new data on voyages from northeast Asia to the Americas 15,000 years ago, from Japan to the remote island of Okinawa 30,000 years ago, and from Southeast Asia to Australia 50,000 years ago. New evidence even raises the possibility that our modern human ancestors may have journeyed by raft or simple boat out of Africa 60,000 to 70,000 years ago, crossing the mouth of the Red Sea. “If they could travel from Southeast Asia to Australia 50,000 years ago, the question now is, how much farther back in time could they have been doing it?” Bailey asks. “Why not the Red Sea?”

Long article, though nothing really new is in it. I found some of the stuff on Japanese islands interesting though, which I hadn't known of before.