Comments Subscribe to Personal Liberty News Feed Subscribe to Personal Liberty

Did Neanderthals take to the seas first?

February 29, 2012 by  

PATRAS, Greece, Feb. 29 (UPI) — Neanderthals may have taken to the seas to become ancient mariners centuries before modern humans managed the same trick, researchers in Greece say.

Archaeological evidence suggests our extinct cousins may have made voyages in the Mediterranean in boats at least 100,000 years ago.

Neanderthals lived around the Mediterranean beginning 300,000 years ago, and now their distinctive “Mousterian” stone tools have been found on both the Greek mainland and, intriguingly, on the Greek islands of Lefkada, Kefalonia and Zakynthos, reported Wednesday.

That could be explained if the islands weren’t islands at the time, but researcher George Ferentinos of the University of Patras in Greece says the islands have been cut off from the mainland for as long as the tools have been on them.

Ferentinos said he believes Neanderthals had a seafaring culture for tens of thousands of years, while modern humans are thought to have taken to the seas just 50,000 years ago.

Even if he is right, other researchers said, Neanderthals were probably not the first hominin seafarers.

One million-year-old stone tools have been found on the Indonesian island of Flores, suggesting something, perhaps primitive Homo erectus, crossed the sea to Flores before Neanderthals even evolved.

Spencer Cameron

Facebook Conversations

Join the Discussion:
View Comments to “Did Neanderthals take to the seas first?”

Comment Policy: We encourage an open discussion with a wide range of viewpoints, even extreme ones, but we will not tolerate racism, profanity or slanderous comments toward the author(s) or comment participants. Make your case passionately, but civilly. Please don't stoop to name calling. We use filters for spam protection. If your comment does not appear, it is likely because it violates the above policy or contains links or language typical of spam. We reserve the right to remove comments at our discretion.

Is there news related to personal liberty happening in your area? Contact us at


Sign Up For Personal Liberty Digest™!

PL Badge

Welcome to,
America's #1 Source for Libertarian News!

To join our group of freedom-loving individuals and to get alerts as well as late-breaking conservative news from Personal Liberty Digest™...

Privacy PolicyYou can opt out at any time. We protect your information like a mother hen. We will not sell or rent your email address to anyone for any reason.