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Ecological contingency in very early offshore seafaring

Author(s): Atholl Anderson

Year: 2016

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Recent interest in accounting for very early offshore seafaring, generally from about 15,000 to 50,000 years ago, but in some cases extending up to one million years ago, has seen arguments for and against the influence of biogeographic factors, human behavioural ecology, and advances in cognition, language and technical expertise. I suggest that the seafaring milieu, as a natural system taking in conditions for offshore passages and the availability of resources for making offshore-capable boats, amongst other things, remains a particularly important factor. I consider comparative examples of offshore seafaring, as deduced from island colonization in Southeast Asia, East Asia and South America, to argue that very early seafaring offshore suggests an influential role for ecological contingency.

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Ecological contingency in very early offshore seafaring. Atholl Anderson. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 403147)


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min long: 111.973; min lat: -52.052 ; max long: -87.715; max lat: 53.331 ;

Arizona State University The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation National Science Foundation National Endowment for the Humanities Society for American Archaeology Archaeological Institute of America