In an “old gadget” find of the day, US and Greek archeologists have found evidence that humanity may have been tooling around the ocean earlier than imagined.
Seven million years ago or so, the island of Crete decided to break off from mainland Greece and go for a little swim. At some point in the island’s history, human inhabitants arrived – forty miles distant from any other shore.
Such a trip would not have been a viable option for a human thrashing around in the water under their own power, meaning that only seafarers would have been able to populate the rocky coastal landmass.
Though the date of the island’s colonization has never been confirmed, open-sea travel technology has long been assumed to be a fairly recent invention. Now, the discovery of tools on Crete dating to anywhere between 130,000 and 700,000 years of age leads Archeologists to believe that our water-loving ways are far older than previously imagined.
Cretan stone tools.
The tools discovered are nothing extensive or complicated – simple stone handaxes and other basic hand-tools – but it is their existence rather than their complexity that is important. Their presence on the island and the date of their creation means that at the very least, swarthy seafarers were braving ocean waters 130,000 years ago, and with previous sea-travel dates in Greece were marked at 11,000 years and 60,000 years worldwide, this is a significant find.
Perhaps 700,000 years from now, alien archeologists will marvel at iPhone 4 and Kindle fossils they find on a desiccated and decaying earth, indicating that we poor humans at least achieved a limited wireless technology before we nuked ourselves into oblivion.
We can only hope a pithy article about our brief existence is created by some clever extraterrestrial blogger.