Moderated by
Jeff Bennett

"The oceans were highways, not barriers, for mariners who traveled to and from North America thousands of years ago."

Ida Jane Gallagher and Warren W. Dexter,
Contact with ancient America, 2004



Ancient peoples readily developed the ability to use the oceans via all shapes of foundational watercraft. By trail and error they employed sound engineering concepts with emphasis on materials and the connections between materials To develop primary watercraft.

This presentation is the first compilation of many examples of obscure references to various foundational watercraft. These references are found in readings, artwork, photographs, and journal sketches. An index to foundational watercraft is included. A discussion of individual foundational watercraft is available on the Internet.

The foundational watercraft are important because the technical solutions for boats were not all developed in one place, nor were they all done sequentially by one culture. But the various foundations do illustrate that people were traveling on the oceans early and often.

Archeological evidence shows that foundational watercraft construction using thoughtful assembly, as opposed to floating on a log or two, appears to have started about c8000 BC, which was nearly simultaneous with the domestication of emmer wheat, rice and livestock.

Some of the foundational watercraft development took place in the Far East and some just below the Anatolian Plateau (ref. The Emergence of Agriculture).

The Iron Age boats have been written about the most because they were sailing when history started. They reflect millions of years of development from foundational watercraft.


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