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More BOATS!!!

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 4:04 pm
by Minimalist
http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/ecology/home-erectus-crosses-open-ocean/10658


Imagine a group of Home erectus, the earliest members of our family genus, living near a coastline on an Indonesia island and well aware of a lush island that is visible only a few miles offshore. One day while on the coast, a herd of elephants emerges from the nearby forest and crosses the beach. They enter the ocean and swim successfully to the offshore island. Could this be the experience that triggers a creative process in our ancestors who are watching nearby? Does their imagination and thinking include not only a desire to reach that island, but ideas about how to do so? Could this period of creative thought conclude with the invention of a raft large enough to hold several people, food and water? If we can find evidence of this situation in the dim past, in the early days of Homo erectus, then archeologists are fixing the time and place for one of the extraordinary events in all human history, a major advance in the evolution of the human mind.

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 5:01 pm
by Beagle
Great article Min. Nice to see a report on what we have talked about for several years. Thanks.

PostPosted: Wed May 06, 2009 8:17 pm
by Minimalist
:wink:

Image

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:49 pm
by Rokcet Scientist
Not only elephants swim and cross bodies of water. Plenty of animal species do. Often using floating debris as rafts. Ants even make rafts (of themselves! Their own bodies). HE had examples all around him. And somehow picked up the concept. As opposed to great apes, that never did, nor, it seems, did their successors, the Australopithecines. But their successor, HE, licked it. Apparently HE made the connection, the association. Why? How? Well, I think it's safe to assume that necessity is the mother of invention. HE must have been driven by a perceived need to go through or across bodies of water. A.k.a. environmental pressure. Evolution. HE conquered pretty much all of the old world (and I'm not even ruling out HE went to America! We just haven't found him yet*).
Anyway, HE conquered the world via the coastlines. HE the beach comber, the explorer. HE was a hunter-gatherer. Probably 10% hunter and 90% gatherer. And the richest food for the gathering, with very little danger, was seafood found at the coast. Exactly where land and water meet: the waterline. You can gather shellfish, crabs, and little fish to your heart's content. Very nutritious. The landside of the waterline provides gazillions of berries and fruits. Right near the water. You can also go out further onto the land for hunting expeditions, and you do so occasionally, but not a lot, because it's very dangerous! One flick of the antlers of a thrashing giant deer could easily kill 3 men. Not to mention the multitude of great cats and other predators that roamed the savannahs and the endless forests. To them you were a mere snack.

So what about this scenario:

HE had been used for hundreds of thousands of years to follow the coastlines, and so 'conquered' far outreaches of the world. But those were MUCH different coastlines than today! 400 feet lower, minimum. That would be far out to sea of today's coastlines. So that's where by far most of HE's evidence – if any remains... – will be! So that's wehere you need to go look for it if you want to find it. Looking for HE evidence on today's landmass is a 90% wasted effort... That would have been far inland for HE. Where he rarely went.

Anyway, so HE was rambling along coastlines when suddenly the sea levels rose! Some cataclysmic meltdown event at the end of an ice age perhaps. Or a tsunami (underwater landslide). We know that those happen. And can have dramatic consequences. Anyway, whatever the cause, a sudden surge ocurred. Great disaster of course. Many died. But many surviving HE found themselves on islands. Cut off from their surviving brethren on the next island and their customary migratory routes. Cut off by water. Sea. That's how a need to cross the water arose, imo.

*not surprising as he's 400 feet down in the ocean...

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 1:18 pm
by Minimalist
But their successor, HE, licked it. Apparently HE made the connection, the association.



Yes, R/S which brings up an interesting corollary to the other thread that's going on about the single tribe of 200 which left Africa and populated the world.

We already don't know the mechanics of HSS v HNS contact in spite of widespread speculation. What that article introduces is the idea that an insignificant number of humans managed to occupy the rest of the world where HE had been living for who knows how long. So what happens when these HSS-types run into Peking Man? Or Java Man? Have we not now compounded the problem of HSS contact with earlier species that has already befuddled us with Neandertal?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 1:32 pm
by Rokcet Scientist
Not if we accept that HS emergence was a multi regional phenomenon. A consequence of "the HE type", wherever he was.

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 2:27 pm
by Minimalist
Not if we accept that HS emergence was a multi regional phenomenon.



The Club would rather be water-boarded than make such an admission, my friend.

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 4:18 pm
by Rokcet Scientist
The Club is a relic. A pre-Darwinian dinosaur. Increasingly irrelevant in the 21st century.

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 5:13 pm
by Minimalist
Yeah, we know that. But who listens to us?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 7:08 pm
by kbs2244
How long have elephants been domesticated?

I saw a great video of elephants not only swimming, but carrying their trainer and pulling a raft while doing it.

Has any thought been given to them as the motor for the rafts?

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 7:17 pm
by Rokcet Scientist
Minimalist wrote:Yeah, we know that. But who listens to us?


Is that what you want? That 'people' listen to us? Naaah, please! The place would only get more shallow and more boringly repetitive than it already is. Hindering the progression and development of free thought.

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 7:20 pm
by Minimalist
To answer your question, the earliest recorded domestication of elephants was 4000 years ago in India.

The key word there is "recorded", of course.

Re: More BOATS!!!

PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 10:18 pm
by john
Minimalist wrote:http://www.environmentalgraffiti.com/ecology/home-erectus-crosses-open-ocean/10658


Imagine a group of Home erectus, the earliest members of our family genus, living near a coastline on an Indonesia island and well aware of a lush island that is visible only a few miles offshore. One day while on the coast, a herd of elephants emerges from the nearby forest and crosses the beach. They enter the ocean and swim successfully to the offshore island. Could this be the experience that triggers a creative process in our ancestors who are watching nearby? Does their imagination and thinking include not only a desire to reach that island, but ideas about how to do so? Could this period of creative thought conclude with the invention of a raft large enough to hold several people, food and water? If we can find evidence of this situation in the dim past, in the early days of Homo erectus, then archeologists are fixing the time and place for one of the extraordinary events in all human history, a major advance in the evolution of the human mind.



Minimalist -

Once again,

You forgot hematite.

Dammit, straighten up, man!

All in good cheer.

john

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 12:51 am
by Minimalist
Thanks for the reminder, John.

PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 6:18 pm
by Rokcet Scientist
Well, that hematite would be 400 feet down as well, of course...
Which of course probably means it is now completely dissolved and absorbed into the environment on a molecular level and smaller, thus unrecoverable. I wouldn't waste time looking for it down there!