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The other early explorers of the Australasian continent

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AlmondFacialBar
891522.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 5:34 am Reply with quote

Well, didn't the Aborigines get to Oz via ice-age induced landbridges? What I find far more fascinating is the idea that Homo Erectus (cut out the sniggering at the back there already!) must have already had ocean-going crafts or they wouldn't have made it to places like Java. Allegedly these guys had the intellectual capacity of a Homo Sapiens toddler, so how the hell did they manage that? *flabbergasted and amazed*

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
Zebra57
891559.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:50 am Reply with quote

While Homo Erectus could have used a land bridge to reach Java, Australia-New Guinea-Tasmania was always separate during this time (ie the Wallace Line) hence its distinct fauna from SE Asia.

 
Arcane
891585.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 7:24 am Reply with quote

I thought the landbridge theory had been debunked, it was used basically as a stop gap theory years ago because there was no other answer? Didn't a geological survey of the ocean floor in the 1920's find no evidence of land bridges?

 
AlmondFacialBar
891613.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:42 am Reply with quote

Another puzzling one, btw - how had the native people of New Guinea got hold of the sweet potatoes they were growing in the central highlands when the first Europeans came there?

Zebra - didn't the Wallace Line have more to do with the depth of the water between Borneo and Sulawesi rather than its travelability by humans?

:-)

AlmondFacialBar

 
soup
891616.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:02 am Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Allegedly these guys had the intellectual capacity of a Homo Sapiens toddler, so how the hell did they manage that? *flabbergasted and amazed*


'S obvious innit. It was Aliens wat done it.


Last edited by soup on Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total

 
Sadurian Mike
891617.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:04 am Reply with quote

Constructing a water craft that can travel from island to island in the South Pacific is one thing. Making a voyage from Egypt to Australia using Early-Kingdom Egyptian technology and knowledge is quite another.

Especially as the voyage was never recorded in Egypt as was the first voyage to India. You'd have thought that the departure of some royal prince on a groundbreaking voyage of discovery would have merited a small mention in the tombs of his relatives or the civil records.

I would also have assumed that the boat-building and navigation skills would have enabled the Egyptians to then take advantage of the world around them. Instead, they apparantly became able to navigate and sail to Australia but then forgot how, and their naval wanderlust was sated for a good few centuries.

 
exnihilo
891628.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:29 am Reply with quote

Well, you know how it is, been there done that - why do it again?

 
Starfish13
891633.  Mon Mar 05, 2012 9:42 am Reply with quote

AlmondFacialBar wrote:
Well, didn't the Aborigines get to Oz via ice-age induced landbridges? What I find far more fascinating is the idea that Homo Erectus (cut out the sniggering at the back there already!) must have already had ocean-going crafts or they wouldn't have made it to places like Java. Allegedly these guys had the intellectual capacity of a Homo Sapiens toddler, so how the hell did they manage that? *flabbergasted and amazed*

:-)

AlmondFacialBar


I think its guite amazing too. Possibly they wouldn't quite have ocean-going craft, but at least something suitable for voyages through coastal and near shore travel, which is in many ways harder than sailing in open water due to rocks, reefs, tidal streams and so on.

I think it is quite widely stated that sea-levels were around 120m lower than present levels, so the land suraface area of Aus and SE Asia would have each been something like 3million sq km or so greater than today, therefore inter-island travel would be much smaller distances. It might be possible to work it out looking at a bathymetric chart of the region.

It is possible to know that a landmass exists beyond the horizon without actually seeing it from land by looking at natural phenomena like cloud formations and migrations of animals and birds.

 

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