Skip to comments.Remains of ancient Egyptian seafaring ships discovered
Posted on 03/24/2005 11:37:24 PM PST by SunkenCiv
The pottery finds include items the Italian researchers think could be from Yemen... "The Yemeni pottery is very interesting because it was suspected that there were contacts across the Red Sea - and this proves that there were," Baines says. The naval artefacts included two curved cedar planks which might have been parts of steering oars... It is not clear exactly why the artefacts were sealed up inside the caves. But it is possible that they were offerings to the Egyptian gods. "That sounds very plausible to me, not least because previous excavations found a structure made of stone anchors that could again be some sort of thanks-offering," says Baines.
(Excerpt) Read more at newscientist.com ...
"Other unknown" groups? Sounds like all the same culture. Interesting that they couldn't find any stone to use in their vicinity and had to move seven ton stones across the Red Sea. : )Stonehenge in Yemen?Wandering the desolate landscape near Yemens Red Sea coast, archaeologists stumbled upon remarkable remnants of a lost Bronze Age civilization. A Stonehenge-like enclosure of granite and basalt monoliths, each more than 3 meters (10 feet) tall and weighing seven tons, is all that remains. But it suggests a complex, well-organized culture that thrived roughly 4,000 years ago.
by Mike Stowe, Editorial Director
The huge stones are arranged in a pattern strikingly similar to that of the Neolithic site of Stonehenge in England. Archaeologists believe the stone used to make the pillars originated in the Surat Mountains about 60 kilometers (37 miles) from the site and was probably floated on rafts across the Red Sea.
Beneath one of the splintered monoliths, the remains of a male skeleton were found among several layers of charred earth, possibly signifying some sort of commemoration.
"We located a cache consisting of copper dagger blades, adze heads, razors, and javelin points arranged around a large chunk of obsidian," says Edward Keall of the Near Eastern and Asian Studies Department at the Royal Ontario Museum. "Clearly, this was a votive offering of great significance." Also recovered were the skeletons of three children, each found beneath a basalt pillar.
"Sometime around 2000 B.C., this early Bronze Age Stonehenge culture disappeared suddenly without a trace," Keall said. But understanding the culture that built this monument should shed new light on "other unknown civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula, who set up similar stones and pillars throughout the region."
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Leaving clay jars in shady spots alongside new roads was a strategy of Rome when it conquered Egypt and the like. Ordinarily the stations would have been maintained by laboriously filling them from some kind of cart, filled with jars of water, and drawn by some creature.
The Hadrianic road that was constructed in a vain attempt to link Antinoos, a short-lived town that emperor built as a tribute to his catamite, with ports on the Red Sea, may have only been used by the crews which constructed it. The watering stations survive here and there along its route.
Occasionally such stations have been found along the Mediterranean coast of the Sinai. Those may have been the handiwork of either the New Kingdom Egyptians, or of the Persians (or possibly the Romans, who probably borrowed the whole idea from that very stretch of road).
Fishing boats sustain their crews through the catch, plus whatever land-grown food they bring along. Eating cooked, fresh fish will provide water to those who eat them. Fresh fruit won't last long on an ancient fishing boat, so it was probably dried before sailing. Dessicated fruit would not solve the water problem, but rickets would have been prevented. Toting along bread would also help, but not help much -- there is water in bread. I'd imagine that wine and vinegar was important in this connection.
Another phenomenon that was understood was evaporation. Some kind of low-tech solar distillation was probably known, regardless of what one thinks of ancient transoceanic voyages. The surface waters of the seas are fresher than the progressively more contaminated layers beneath; rain was no doubt collected whether the mariners wanted it or not; and taking a quick trip to a river mouth on shore to collect water wouldn't have been a hardship most of the time.
One of the discoveries made by various ethnic groups living on coral islands is that scratching a hole into the "bedrock" with a bottom below sealevel will often result in a freshwater well. Probably an analogous filtration is at work, if the anecdote is true. I'd heard that tale also, perhaps there's something to it. A kinda lackadaisical search leads me to this:
"Clay jars like have highly porous walls. As water evaporates through the walls, the water that remains is cooled. Many Middle Eastern and Egyptian homes still rely on these jars to provide cool drinks."
related: Stone Circles In Saudi Arabia Science Frontiers | No. 3: April 1978 | William R. Corliss Posted on 08/25/2004 11:42:13 PM PDT by SunkenCiv http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/1199778/posts
Another copy of the Stowe piece:
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