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World's Oldest Boat Found in Desert
Discovery News ^ | June 17, 2002 | By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

Posted on 06/22/2002 4:13:15 PM PDT by vannrox

World's Oldest Boat Found in Desert

The piece of ancient boat on the left bears parallel reed impressions, and a row of small holes, perhaps from pegs. The slab on the right sports barnacles, showing that the slabs had been immersed in sea water for a number of months before they were put into storage.

By Jennifer Viegas, Discovery News

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June 17 — The world's oldest known boat, built 7,000 years ago out of tarry, bitumen-covered slabs, has been found in an unlikely place: the Kuwaiti desert.

If the assessment of British and Kuwaiti archaeologists is correct, the slabs, found covered on one side with barnacles and warehoused in a stone building at a site called As-Sabiyah, would push back the date for the oldest known boat by more than 2,000 years.

According to an upcoming paper in the Proceedings of the Seminar for Arabian Studies and a paper published in the June 7 issue of the journal Science, the current oldest boat record-holder is a vessel found in an Egyptian tomb dating to 3,000 B.C. Evidence for log canoes, thought to be more like rafts than boats, goes back much further, to 8,000 B.C. The age of the entire As-Sabiyah site, including the boat remains, has been carbon-14 dated to 5,511-5,324 B.C.

Robert Carter, an archaeologist at University College London and the expedition's field director, believes that the slabs belonged to a boat because they have reed impressions on one side and barnacles on the other.

Carter said bitumen, which is still crushed with fish oil and coral and used today by some Middle Eastern boat builders, likely formed a waterproof seal around vessels constructed out of reed bundles tied together with ropes and string.

He also believes that the bitumen-covered reed boats were used to carry people and goods between Mesopotamia, As-Sabiyah (which he thinks was then a peninsula within the Tigris-Euphrates River area), and the Central Gulf region.

If the theory is correct, it could explain why ancient Mesopotamian pottery often turns up many miles to the south on the Persian Gulf's western shores, according to the Science report.

"We do not know the race of the people trading at As-Sabiyah," Carter told Discovery News. "It is (safe) to say that people from the Arabian Peninsula were involved, along with people from Mesopotamia."

Carter is more confident about what goods were traded, based on finds at the site. These included pierced pearls likely used for jewelry, pottery, shells, spindle whorls probably used to spin wool, bead necklaces, mother of pearl buttons, and flint and obsidian stones. He believes that livestock and fish also were traded.

Carl Lamberg-Karlovsky, professor of archaeology at Harvard University, questions whether the As-Sabiyah boat was used for trade, due to its apparently small size, and suggests that it was just a fishing boat for locals. He also hints that remains of even older vessels may be found in future due to evidence for ancient boating, such as clay boat models.

Lamberg-Karlovsky said, "Although the Kuwaiti find might be the earliest evidence for a boat, it is very important to point out that people were seafaring far earlier than this."

TOPICS: Culture/Society; Extended News; Foreign Affairs; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; boat; british; discovery; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; kuwaiti; old; science
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To: d4now
Thanks for the ping, but....

World's Oldest Boat Found In Desert

21 posted on 06/22/2002 8:38:12 PM PDT by blam
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To: razorback-bert
Sounds like you been fishing with me. :^)
22 posted on 06/22/2002 10:37:39 PM PDT by SandfleaCSC
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To: johnny7
"Fire was invented by Bug IV during the Charcoal Age, approximately 9500 BC... hence the term “fire-bug”."

I've heard that a leftish Sheikh..I think the name is Sheikh Almed Bin Goresan..claimed that his ancestors had invented the boat and discovered all the world's ocean routes over 10,000 years ago!

23 posted on 06/22/2002 11:15:34 PM PDT by Chu Gary
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To: blam
I should have known you would be days ahead of you-know-who....
24 posted on 06/22/2002 11:55:05 PM PDT by d4now
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To: vannrox
25 posted on 06/23/2002 12:13:19 AM PDT by truth_session
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To: JoeSchem
This was before the invention of water

"invention of water"?

26 posted on 06/23/2002 12:22:40 AM PDT by JudgeMan
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Comment #27 Removed by Moderator

To: *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; vannrox
Just adding this to the GGG homepage, not sending a general distribution.
Please FREEPMAIL me if you want on or off the "Gods, Graves, Glyphs" PING list --
Archaeology/Anthropology/Ancient Cultures/Artifacts/Antiquities, etc.

28 posted on 07/20/2004 10:19:52 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (Unlike some people, I have a profile. Okay, maybe it's a little large...)
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To: Fred Nerks

· join list or digest · view topics · view or post blog · bookmark · post a topic ·

Just updating the GGG info, not sending a general distribution.

To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother, and Ernest_at_the_Beach

· Google · Archaeologica · ArchaeoBlog · Archaeology magazine · Biblical Archaeology Society ·
· Mirabilis · Texas AM Anthropology News · Yahoo Anthro & Archaeo ·
· History or Science & Nature Podcasts · Excerpt, or Link only? · cgk's list of ping lists ·

29 posted on 11/07/2008 5:17:07 PM PST by SunkenCiv ( finally updated Saturday, October 11, 2008 !!!)
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To: SunkenCiv

For Kuwait, stung by the recent suggestion by Saddam Hussein’s son, Uday, that cartographers should redraw maps to show the oil-rich emirate as no more that a province of “greater Iraq”, the discovery of its possible 7,000 year old heritage could not have come at a better time. Subiya Man is already being heralded as “the first Kuwaiti”, even though human remains have yet to be found in the sand.

The Subiya site in Kuwait yielded pieces of bitumen from 5,000BC, evidence of early boat building, while archaeoligists were unearthing a Neolithic human site

The model boat found at Subiya holds details of ancient construction methods

30 posted on 11/07/2008 7:02:44 PM PST by Fred Nerks
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To: JoeSchem

Or extremely afraid of drowning.

31 posted on 11/07/2008 7:39:37 PM PST by StandUpChuck
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To: knarf
The fragment found in the Kuwaiti desert means the same thing as oceanic fossils showing up on mile-high mountains ... a universal flood.

The fossils, maybe. A boat could have ridden in on a tidal wave.

32 posted on 11/07/2008 7:49:36 PM PST by tacticalogic ("Oh bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: Willie Green

Poor maintenance.

33 posted on 06/03/2010 8:35:42 PM PDT by smokingfrog ( - Free Men will always be armed with the Truth. -)
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To: Willie Green
So what's the theory as to why it's out in the desert?

Back then it was beach.

34 posted on 06/03/2010 8:37:36 PM PDT by this_ol_patriot (I saw manbearpig and all I got was an autographed picture of Helen Thomas.)
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