an imaginative look a palaeolithic life

Homo erectus shipbuilders?

Due to archaeologists occasionally finding Homo erectus fossils in unexpected places, places which geologists say that Homo erectus couldn’t simply have walked to, some came to the conclusion that Homo erectus must have sailed there.

My answer to that is simple: when a modern human, i.e. Homo sapiens sapiens, with our considerably larger brains, is able to build a seagoing vessel using only Acheulian tools, then, and only then, will I entertain the possibility that Homo erectus sailed anywhere.

Alternative possibilities for how the Homo erectus fossils got there:

  • The geologists are wrong and Homo erectus did walk there
  • They co-existed with upper palaeolithic or later Homo sapiens, who built basic ships (perhaps like the Kon-tiki one) and took Homo erectus with them as slaves or captives or shipmates or concubines or food or companions or purely for decoration, and that’s how they got there
  • The palaeoanthropologists got the dates wrong and H. erectus walked there, but not at the time they supposed
In any case, I don’t want to imply that H. erectus was stupid, because I don’t think that.  Just that I don’t think it’s possible to build a ship using the level of technology that they had.  Challenge: prove me wrong!  A Homo erectus inspired version of the Kon-tiki expedition would be a fun thing to observe from a safe distance.

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