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World's oldest fish hooks found in Japanese island cave

The pair, dating from about 23,000 years ago, were carved from sea snail shells and found with other ancient relics, according to a paper.
It is thought humans inhabited the island from at least 30,000 years ago, surviving despite scarce resources.
The findings suggest a wider use of advanced maritime technology in that era than previously thought.

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Japanese scientists to recreate first settlers' voyage

The researchers, led by the National Museum of Nature and Science in Tokyo, have launched a crowdfunding campaign to build either a primitive boat made of bundled grass or a bamboo raft of the kind believed to have been used by the first settlers, The Japan Times reports. They're hoping the make the first voyage between Yonaguni and Iriomote - two outlying islands in Japan's extreme southwest - in July this year.
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Armed with high-tech methods, researchers are scouring the Aegean Sea for the world's oldest shipwrecks.
 
Archaeologists have precious little information about the seagoing habits of the Minoan civilization, which erected the palace of Knossos on Crete - linked to the Greek myth of the Minotaur. Minoans far exceeded their neighbours in weaponry, literacy and art, and formed "part of the roots of what went on to become European civilization", says Don Evely, an archaeologist at the British School at Athens, and curator of Knossos. Archaeologists are keen to understand what made the Minoans so successful and how they interacted with nearby cultures such as the Egyptians.
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Obsidian artifacts point to Ice-Age mariners in prehistoric Greece

Mariners may have been travelling the Aegean Sea even before the end of the last ice age, according to new evidence from researchers, in order to extract coveted volcanic rocks for pre-Bronze Age tools and weapons.
A new technique which dates obsidian - volcanic glass which can be fashioned into tools - suggests that people were mining for obsidian in Mediterranean waters and shipping the once valuable rocks from the island of Melos in modern day Greece as far back as  15,000 years ago.

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Indians first to ride monsoon winds

Mariners from India's east coast exploited monsoon winds to sail to southeast Asia more than 2,000 years ago, an archaeologist has proposed, challenging a long-standing view that a Greek navigator had discovered monsoon winds much later.
Sila Tripati at the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO), Goa, has combined archaeological, meteorological, and literary data to suggest that Indian mariners were sailing to southeast Asia riding monsoon winds as far back as the 2nd century BC.

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Island tool finds show early settlers' diversity

Caches of tools and animal remains from around 12,000 years ago, found on islands off the California coast, have given remarkable insight into the lives of the first Americans.
The tools vary markedly from mainland cultures of the era such as the Clovis.

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Cretan tools point to 130,000-year-old sea travel

Archaeologists on the island of Crete have discovered what may be evidence of one of the world's first sea voyages by human ancestors, the Greek Culture Ministry said Monday
A ministry statement said experts from Greece and the U.S. have found rough axes and other tools thought to be between 130,000 and 700,000 years old close to shelters on the island's south coast.
Crete has been separated from the mainland for about five million years, so whoever made the tools must have travelled there by sea (a distance of at least 40 miles). That would upset the current view that human ancestors migrated to Europe from Africa by land alone.



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"3000-year-old" paddies to be tested for date

Three samples of paddies excavated from an archaeological site in Hanoi, which are believed to be 3000 years old, will be sent to Japan for identifying the date this week.
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Primitive Humans Conquered Sea, Surprising Finds Suggest
Prehistoric axes found on a Greek island suggest that seafaring existed in the Mediterranean more than a hundred thousand years earlier than thought.

Two years ago a team of U.S. and Greek archaeologists were combing a gorge on the island of Crete in Greece, hoping to find tiny stone tools employed by seafaring people who had plied nearby waters some 11,000 years ago.
Instead, in the midst of the search, Providence College archaeologist Thomas Strasser and his team came across a whopping surprise - a sturdy 5-inch-long (13-centimetre-long) hand ax.
Knapped from a cobble of local quartz stone, the rough-looking tool resembled hand axes discovered in Africa and mainland Europe and used by human ancestors until about 175,000 years ago. This stone tool technology, which could have been useful for smashing bones and cutting flesh, had been relatively static for over a million years.

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The discovery of small ancient tools on the coast of Cyprus has led to big things for Colgate University archaeologist Albert Ammerman.
Ammerman leads the research team that has worked along the shores of the Mediterranean island for the past three years.
His team's research was detailed in The New York Times and numerous other major media outlets, and he was the subject of an extensive profile in Science magazine, in which he was called the "Renaissance man of archaeology."
Why the attention? Because once again Ammerman has thrown a scientific curveball, this time because his findings on Cyprus have provided the earliest evidence of long-distance seafaring in the Mediterranean, which may change views on how agriculture spread in Europe.
Ammerman, 64, talks about Cyprus and his previous ground-breaking research in Rome and Venice in the latest episode of Colgate Conversations, a series of podcast interviews with members of the Colgate community.
Albert Ammerman's research has been cited in National Geographic, U.S. News & World Report, The New York Times, and other major media outlets.
He talks about strolling along a beach on Cyprus, in the midst of a tourist area, and happening across the ancient tools embedded in Aeolianite, a rough kind of "moon rock." Exploration of that site and another area has since included dangerous underwater excavations by a team of 10 divers.
Members of Ammerman's dive and research teams come from a range of backgrounds and academic disciplines, something that has served him well throughout his career as he continuously embarks on new approaches that generate new lines of research.

"Many people in academia reproduce the same things. But you have to take risks. There is a certain logic to all this, it doesn't happen by accident, but there are things that happen that aren't in your total control."

His interdisciplinary approach has manifested itself on Colgate's campus, as well. This semester, Ammerman has been teaching a course called World Archaeology, Material Culture, and Identity with four other professors who specialize in different cultures, ranging from the Oneida Indian Nation just a few miles from campus to the Teotihuacán in Mexico.

Source Colgate University

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