Ancient hominids may have been seafarers

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Jack Linthicum

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Jan 9, 2010, 6:55:48 AM1/9/10
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130,000 ya at a minimum, hominids reached Crete from Africa, This
group argues a direct raft or similar device trip from Africa to Crete
and possibly beyond, based on the style resembling an Africa
prototype.

Ancient hominids may have been seafarers
Hand axes excavated on Crete suggest hominids made sea crossings to go
'out of Africa'
By Bruce Bower
Web edition : Friday, January 8th, 2010

ANAHEIM, Calif. — Human ancestors that left Africa hundreds of
thousands of years ago to see the rest of the world were no
landlubbers. Stone hand axes unearthed on the Mediterranean island of
Crete indicate that an ancient Homo species — perhaps Homo erectus —
had used rafts or other seagoing vessels to cross from northern Africa
to Europe via at least some of the larger islands in between, says
archaeologist Thomas Strasser of Providence College in Rhode Island.

Several hundred double-edged cutting implements discovered at nine
sites in southwestern Crete date to at least 130,000 years ago and
probably much earlier, Strasser reported January 7 at the annual
meeting of the American Institute of Archaeology. Many of these finds
closely resemble hand axes fashioned in Africa about 800,000 years ago
by H. erectus, he says. It was around that time that H. erectus spread
from Africa to parts of Asia and Europe.

Until now, the oldest known human settlements on Crete dated to around
9,000 years ago. Traditional theories hold that early farming groups
in southern Europe and the Middle East first navigated vessels to
Crete and other Mediterranean islands at that time.

“We’re just going to have to accept that, as soon as hominids left
Africa, they were long-distance seafarers and rapidly spread all over
the place,” Strasser says. Other researchers have controversially
suggested that H. erectus navigated rafts across short stretches of
sea in Indonesia around 800,000 years ago and that Neandertals crossed
the Strait of Gibraltar perhaps 60,000 years ago.

Questions remain about whether African hominids used Crete as a
stepping stone to reach Europe or, in a Stone Age Gilligan’s Island
scenario, accidentally ended up on Crete from time to time when close-
to-shore rafts were blown out to sea, remarks archaeologist Robert
Tykot of the University of South Florida in Tampa. Only in the past
decade have researchers established that people reached Crete before
6,000 years ago, Tykot says.

Strasser’s team cannot yet say precisely when or for what reason
hominids traveled to Crete. Large sets of hand axes found on the
island suggest a fairly substantial population size, downplaying the
possibility of a Gilligan Island’s scenario, in Strasser’s view.

In excavations conducted near Crete’s southwestern coast during 2008
and 2009, Strasser’s team unearthed hand axes at caves and rock
shelters. Most of these sites were situated in an area called Preveli
Gorge, where a river has gouged through many layers of rocky sediment.

At Preveli Gorge, Stone Age artifacts were excavated from four
terraces along a rocky outcrop that overlooks the Mediterranean Sea.
Tectonic activity has pushed older sediment above younger sediment on
Crete, so 130,000-year-old artifacts emerged from the uppermost
terrace. Other terraces received age estimates of 110,000 years,
80,000 years and 45,000 years.

These minimum age estimates relied on comparisons of artifact-bearing
sediment to sediment from sea cores with known ages. Geologists are
now assessing whether absolute dating techniques can be applied to
Crete’s Stone Age sites, Strasser says.

Intriguingly, he notes, hand axes found on Crete were made from local
quartz but display a style typical of ancient African artifacts.

“Hominids adapted to whatever material was available on the island for
tool making,” Strasser proposes. “There could be tools made from
different types of stone in other parts of Crete.”

Strasser has conducted excavations on Crete for the past 20 years. He
had been searching for relatively small implements that would have
been made from chunks of chert no more than 11,000 years ago. But a
current team member, archaeologist Curtis Runnels of Boston
University, pointed out that Stone Age folk would likely have favored
quartz for their larger implements. “Once we started looking for
quartz tools, everything changed,” Strasser says.

http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/53219/title/Ancient_hominids_may_have_been_seafarers

Jack Linthicum

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Jan 9, 2010, 11:03:07 AM1/9/10
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>    http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/53219/title/Ancient_homini...

Question where did any trees for rafts come from and what kind of
trees grew on the Northern coast of Africa 130,000 ya?

crunch

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Jan 9, 2010, 1:16:55 PM1/9/10
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On Jan 9, 11:03 am, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@earthlink.net>

So, Niede Guidon is probably right after all.

David Christainsen
Newton, Mass. USA

Peter Alaca

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Jan 9, 2010, 1:28:30 PM1/9/10
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In what?

crunch

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Jan 9, 2010, 1:39:11 PM1/9/10
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On Jan 9, 1:28 pm, Peter Alaca <p.al...@invallid.invalid> wrote:

So, you were not paying attention when we
had the Guidon discussion; Jack knows what
I am talking about because we had a brief dispute.

Whiskers

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Jan 9, 2010, 1:34:16 PM1/9/10
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On 2010-01-09, Jack Linthicum <jackli...@earthlink.net> wrote:

[...]

> Question where did any trees for rafts come from and what kind of
> trees grew on the Northern coast of Africa 130,000 ya?

Two points: rafts and boats don't have to be made of wood; and a quick
search for 'wet sahara' shows that north Africa hasn't always been arid.
For example <http://www.pnas.org/content/106/48/20159.short>.

--
-- ^^^^^^^^^^
-- Whiskers
-- ~~~~~~~~~~

Jack Linthicum

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Jan 9, 2010, 1:55:11 PM1/9/10
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>
> > On Aug 27, 7:29 pm, crunch <pchristain...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
> > >http://www.fumdham.org.br/fumdhamentos7/artigos/10%20Watanabe.pdf
>
> > > I accept as conclusive a migration of Africa
> > > to Brazil earlier than 50,000 BP.
>
> > > The archaeology profession needs to hash
> > > out this issue quickly - to recapitulate how Dillehay's
> > > finding in Monte Verde was accepted.
>
> > > David Christainsen
>
> > Try this one: How did they get there? The best Africa boats, not even
> > ships, in the 19th Century were little more than dugout canoes and
> > small rafts. If anything thecurrentsand winds are away from the
> > Brazillian coast towards Africa.
>
> >http://oceancurrents.rsmas.miami.edu/southern/south-atlantic.html
>
> The settlement of America seen middens
> from the Coast Equatorial Amazon of Brazil.
>
> Arkley Marques Bandeira
>
> http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=pt&u=http://www.fumdha...
>
> GUIDON, Niéde. Povoamento da América.
> In: BUCO, Cristiane & Ignácio, Elaine (Orgs.)
> A arqueologia. São Raimundo Nonato:
> Fundação Museu do Homem Americano, 2005
>
> "Archaeological research on the Brazilian coast
> is very important to understand and correlate
> the earliest dates on the peopling of America,
> and especially the occupation of the territory
> what today is called Brazil, to the extent that
> some research hypotheses work in perspective
> that 'the earliest sites seem to indicate that
> there was an initial migration Homo sapiens
> from Europe or Africa, because they are closer
> to the Atlantic Ocean. In the system of ocean
> currents and winds favors possible passages
> on vessels rudimentary' (GUIDON: 2005, p. 15)."
>
> -----
>
> It is clear thatGuidon'smigratory crossing of the
> Atlantic is her speculative conjecture, however
> taking into account her understanding of ocean
> currents and winds back then.
>
> (WE NEED MORE RECONSTRUCTION OF THE
> SCENARIO BACK THEN -
>
> What specifically were the ocean levels then?
> What specifically were the ocean currents then?
> What specifically were the winds then?
>
> Did the Ice Age play any part in the humans
> leaving Europe for the migration 50,000 BP?)
>
> She has (nobody else does either) NO PHYSICAL
> EVIDENCE for her specific hypothesis here. How
> could there be any at her radically early dates?
>
> David Christainsen

Just to remind you that the subject under discussion in this thread is
the Mediterranean Sea, nowhere near your imagined trips from Africa to
America. You really ought to seek professional help, your ability to
reason is pretty close to nil.

Peter Alaca

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Jan 9, 2010, 2:10:10 PM1/9/10
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>> In what?

I asked you a direct question. Answer it or fuck off.

What has Niede Guidon to do with the subject of this
thread, and in what was he right after all?


Peter Alaca

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Jan 9, 2010, 2:12:03 PM1/9/10
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What is the relevance of the kind of tree?
Every tree that floads will do.


Meteorologist

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Jan 9, 2010, 2:18:07 PM1/9/10
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Jack loves to snipe but cannot take a punch.
BTW I changed the subject line.

Sir David

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Jan 9, 2010, 2:46:40 PM1/9/10
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On Jan 9, 2:18 pm, Meteorologist <pchristain...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Jack loves to snipe but cannot take a punch.

Carl's new catch phrase is pretty much meaningless. Carl's gibbering
has all the "punch" of a gnat fart. But he does like to make a great
show of his cluelessness, so he issues his catch phrases from the
Crunchy See, decreeing something that is only of interest to members
of the First Crunchytarian Church of Saint Babs. Of course, Pope
Crunchy the First is the only member of that church. It sucks to be a
crunchy Pope.

Jack Linthicum

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Jan 9, 2010, 2:55:28 PM1/9/10
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Carl: You really think this is the sign of an adult? You can't follow
an argument line and you say I can't take a mythical punch?

For Peter, some wood floats but will absorb water, other wood may
float but be impossible to make into raft. Palm trees can float but
are really bad for rafts. They are dense and tend to sink below the
water lien.

This might describe how someone might have made a trip the 150 miles
or so from Africa to Crete.

Peter Alaca

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Jan 9, 2010, 2:56:19 PM1/9/10
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>>> In: BUCO, Cristiane& Ignácio, Elaine (Orgs.)


Why? The subject does not change because you talk
out of your arse.
And second: do you think we are blind?

Fuck off.

Jack Linthicum

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Jan 9, 2010, 3:02:40 PM1/9/10
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Tom McDonald

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Jan 9, 2010, 6:10:38 PM1/9/10
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Meteorologist wrote:

<new levels of bullshit>

--
Tom "Go Pack" McDonald

Hayabusa

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Jan 10, 2010, 3:42:54 PM1/10/10
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On Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:34:16 +0000, Whiskers
<catwh...@operamail.com> wrote:

>On 2010-01-09, Jack Linthicum <jackli...@earthlink.net> wrote:
>
>[...]
>
>> Question where did any trees for rafts come from and what kind of
>> trees grew on the Northern coast of Africa 130,000 ya?
>
>Two points: rafts and boats don't have to be made of wood; and a quick
>search for 'wet sahara' shows that north Africa hasn't always been arid.

If it was enough rain for trees I simply don't know; what I do know
is:
the Sahara was highly arid during the ice high stands, as arid as it
is now. The wet Sahara existed only during the transition time from
glacial to post-glacial (in the higher latitudes, of course), that is,
only a very few thousand years (less than 5). I assume it was similar
for the earlier glacial periods. I am simply uninformed about the
climate during the change _towards_ a glacial period from an
interglacial.

Even if the finds are from the SW-coast of Crete, I cannot imagine
that HE reached the island from Africa directly across the open sea.
If you are at the Libyan coast, there is no reason whatsoever to sail
out north. Any immigrants must have come via SW-Turkey and Rhode
Island (the real one).

Hayabusa


Jack Linthicum

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Jan 10, 2010, 5:06:13 PM1/10/10
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On Jan 10, 3:42 pm, Hayabusa <peregr...@t-online.de> wrote:
> On Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:34:16 +0000, Whiskers
>
> <catwhee...@operamail.com> wrote:

Reason usually doesn't figure in deeds like this. I had a hard time
getting the idea of very early (13kya) boats reaching Crete from the
North, where the next island is nearly if not actually visible.

On another newsgroup I postulated an effort like that of the Paleo-
Indians, Polynesians and the Australian Aborigines, horizon fever.
Very common in the U.S. The Daniel Boones and Marcus Whitmans of the
1830s and 40s wanted to see what was "over there". Boone because he
had that itch and didn't want neighbors, ie anyone close enough to see
the smoke from their chimney. Whitman because he wanted to bring
Christianity to the Indians. He and his wife died for that yen.

Someone making a boat or a raft wants to see if it works, sometimes to
the extreme of setting out without a goal. The polynesians went out in
directions the wind, birds and weather told them there were islands.
But, ironically, they never seem to have gone as far as the Americas,
really big islands.

130,000 ya is a long time, long enough that the sailors are preumed to
be hominids but not homo sapiens etc.

Whiskers

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Jan 10, 2010, 6:21:27 PM1/10/10
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On 2010-01-10, Jack Linthicum <jackli...@earthlink.net> wrote:
> On Jan 10, 3:42 pm, Hayabusa <peregr...@t-online.de> wrote:
>> On Sat, 09 Jan 2010 18:34:16 +0000, Whiskers
>> <catwh...@operamail.com> wrote:
>> >On 2010-01-09, Jack Linthicum <jacklinthi...@earthlink.net> wrote:

[...]

>> Even if the finds are from the SW-coast of Crete, I cannot imagine


>> that HE reached the island from Africa directly across the open sea.
>> If you are at the Libyan coast, there is no reason whatsoever to sail
>> out north. Any immigrants must have come via SW-Turkey and Rhode
>> Island (the real one).
>>
>> Hayabusa
>
> Reason usually doesn't figure in deeds like this. I had a hard time
> getting the idea of very early (13kya) boats reaching Crete from the
> North, where the next island is nearly if not actually visible.
>
> On another newsgroup I postulated an effort like that of the Paleo-
> Indians, Polynesians and the Australian Aborigines, horizon fever.
> Very common in the U.S. The Daniel Boones and Marcus Whitmans of the
> 1830s and 40s wanted to see what was "over there". Boone because he
> had that itch and didn't want neighbors, ie anyone close enough to see
> the smoke from their chimney. Whitman because he wanted to bring
> Christianity to the Indians. He and his wife died for that yen.
>
> Someone making a boat or a raft wants to see if it works, sometimes to
> the extreme of setting out without a goal. The polynesians went out in
> directions the wind, birds and weather told them there were islands.
> But, ironically, they never seem to have gone as far as the Americas,
> really big islands.
>
> 130,000 ya is a long time, long enough that the sailors are preumed to
> be hominids but not homo sapiens etc.

If you've been watching birds fly north over the water and not return for
months, you've got a big clue that there's something to fly north /too/.
Another possibility is accident; even modern boats can get swept far off
course in the Med - there may be no tide, but there are certainly storms.

Meteorologist

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Jan 11, 2010, 9:16:38 AM1/11/10
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When Tom McDonald spake, my bunk-o-meter
went off.

David "Meteorologist" Christainsen
Newton, Mass. USA

Peter Alaca

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Jan 11, 2010, 9:21:32 AM1/11/10
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Meteorologist, David, Carl, Crunch <pchris...@yahoo.com> 11/01/2010
15:16 wrote:
> On Jan 9, 6:10 pm, Tom McDonald<tmcdonald2...@charter.net> wrote:
>> Meteorologist wrote:
>>
>> <new levels of bullshit>
>>
>> --
>> Tom "Go Pack" McDonald

> When Tom McDonald spake, my bunk-o-meter
> went off.

Is that how you call an ejaculation?

Jack Linthicum

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Jan 11, 2010, 5:04:13 PM1/11/10
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On Jan 11, 9:21 am, Peter Alaca <p.al...@invallid.invalid> wrote:
> Meteorologist, David, Carl, Crunch <pchristain...@yahoo.com> 11/01/2010

>
> 15:16 wrote:
> > On Jan 9, 6:10 pm, Tom McDonald<tmcdonald2...@charter.net>  wrote:
> >> Meteorologist wrote:
>
> >> <new levels of bullshit>
>
> >> --
> >> Tom "Go Pack" McDonald
> > When Tom McDonald spake, my bunk-o-meter
> > went off.
>
> Is that how you call an ejaculation?

A guy in another newsgroup has coined a name for people like David
Calr Christainsen, who can't or won't use their real name. He calls
them "nymskulls".

Peter Alaca

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Jan 11, 2010, 5:21:09 PM1/11/10
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Jack Linthicum <jackli...@earthlink.net> 11/01/2010 23:04 wrote:
> On Jan 11, 9:21 am, Peter Alaca<p.al...@invallid.invalid> wrote:
>> Meteorologist, David, Carl, Crunch<pchristain...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>>> On Jan 9, 6:10 pm, Tom McDonald<tmcdonald2...@charter.net> wrote:
>>>> Meteorologist wrote:

>>>> <new levels of bullshit>

>>> When Tom McDonald spake, my bunk-o-meter
>>> went off.

>> Is that how you call an ejaculation?

> A guy in another newsgroup has coined a name for people like David
> Calr Christainsen, who can't or won't use their real name. He calls
> them "nymskulls".

Well, The Carl certainly is a nymomaniac.

Hayabusa

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Jan 12, 2010, 3:35:15 PM1/12/10
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On Sun, 10 Jan 2010 23:21:27 +0000, Whiskers
<catwh...@operamail.com> wrote:

>If you've been watching birds fly north over the water and not return for
>months, you've got a big clue that there's something to fly north /too/.
>Another possibility is accident; even modern boats can get swept far off
>course in the Med - there may be no tide, but there are certainly storms.

The bird routes do not go across the Med. Birds fly across the
Bosporus, Turkey, along the Levante. The coast near Ghaza is a perfect
spot for birdwatching during migration.

Hayabusa

Hayabusa

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Jan 12, 2010, 3:35:15 PM1/12/10
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On Sun, 10 Jan 2010 14:06:13 -0800 (PST), Jack Linthicum
<jackli...@earthlink.net> wrote:


>Reason usually doesn't figure in deeds like this. I had a hard time
>getting the idea of very early (13kya) boats reaching Crete from the
>North, where the next island is nearly if not actually visible.
>
>On another newsgroup I postulated an effort like that of the Paleo-
>Indians, Polynesians and the Australian Aborigines, horizon fever.
>Very common in the U.S. The Daniel Boones and Marcus Whitmans of the
>1830s and 40s wanted to see what was "over there". Boone because he
>had that itch and didn't want neighbors, ie anyone close enough to see
>the smoke from their chimney. Whitman because he wanted to bring
>Christianity to the Indians. He and his wife died for that yen.

That only shows that the injuns were reasonable people.

>Someone making a boat or a raft wants to see if it works, sometimes to
>the extreme of setting out without a goal. The polynesians went out in
>directions the wind, birds and weather told them there were islands.
>But, ironically, they never seem to have gone as far as the Americas,
>really big islands.

I don't mind horizon fever, and I don't mind Erectus crossing towards
islands in sight. But Erectus taking off just so, when there was no
technology at all, and no common knowledge, is too much to believe for
me.

The Erectus traces on Crete are surprising enough for the moment.
Let's see if they find more. It may turn out that the first location
in the SW of the island is just fortuitous.

Hayabusa


Peter Alaca

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Jan 12, 2010, 4:02:34 PM1/12/10
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Mainly for soarers. Songbirds and waders do cross the Med,
and even soarers do. Here is an example of a radiotagged Crane,
last autumn, who did not use the Bosporus route, but first
crossed the Black Sea and then the eastern Med, via Cyprus.


Eric Stevens

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Jan 12, 2010, 4:25:24 PM1/12/10
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Nymotode?

Eric Stevens

Whiskers

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Jan 12, 2010, 4:16:28 PM1/12/10
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The bird routes across the western Med really do go across the western Med.
You won't see them from Gaza, though; different birds, different routes
;))

For example
<http://www.gardenbird.co.uk/Migration-Map/Bird-Watching/GBS_MigrationMap,default,pg.html>

Peter Alaca

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Jan 12, 2010, 4:59:03 PM1/12/10
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Oops! Here is the link
http://www.looduskalender.ee/sites/default/files/images</Tom_2_12.11.2009.jpg>

Peter Alaca

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Jan 12, 2010, 5:04:32 PM1/12/10
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benl...@ihug.co.nz

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Jan 12, 2010, 5:07:29 PM1/12/10
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On Jan 13, 10:59 am, Peter Alaca <p.al...@invallid.invalid> wrote:
> Peter Alaca <p.al...@invallid.invalid> 12/01/2010 22:02 wrote:

Can't see the crane, but at least now I know how to say "moose shit"
in Estonian...

Tom McDonald

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Jan 12, 2010, 6:18:53 PM1/12/10
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Would an Etonian even say "moose shit"?

Stag excrement, maybe.

Jack Linthicum

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Jan 12, 2010, 6:33:08 PM1/12/10
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On Jan 12, 4:16 pm, Whiskers <catwhee...@operamail.com> wrote:

> On 2010-01-12, Hayabusa <peregr...@t-online.de> wrote:
>
> > On Sun, 10 Jan 2010 23:21:27 +0000, Whiskers
> > <catwhee...@operamail.com> wrote:
>
> >>If you've been watching birds fly north over the water and not return for
> >>months, you've got a big clue that there's something to fly north /too/.  
> >>Another possibility is accident; even modern boats can get swept far off
> >>course in the Med - there may be no tide, but there are certainly storms.
>
> > The bird routes do not go across the Med. Birds fly across the
> > Bosporus, Turkey, along the Levante. The coast near Ghaza is a perfect
> > spot for birdwatching during migration.
>
> > Hayabusa
>
> The bird routes across the western Med really do go across the western Med.
> You won't see them from Gaza, though; different birds, different routes
> ;))
>
> For example
> <http://www.gardenbird.co.uk/Migration-Map/Bird-Watching/GBS_Migration...>

>
> --
> -- ^^^^^^^^^^
> --  Whiskers
> -- ~~~~~~~~~~

But there are birds that stay in Crete

http://www.fatbirder.com/links_geo/europe/greece_crete.html

Eric Stevens

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Jan 13, 2010, 3:42:29 AM1/13/10
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Anonymous? (unfortunately - No)

Eric Stevens

Matt Giwer

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Jan 20, 2010, 11:38:51 PM1/20/10
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Jack Linthicum wrote:
...
> Question where did any trees for rafts come from and what kind of
> trees grew on the Northern coast of Africa 130,000 ya?

There was no Sahara desert back then. Any kind of trees you want could have
grown there.

A stranger question is the idea of rafts in the first place. Unless I missed
something in reading Mark Twain rafts have very limited uses beyond rivers.
They can't be controlled or guided save in a very crude and highly unreliable
ways. That said no one is going to try rafting across the Med without knowing
there is something on the other side of the water.

Considering no Sahara we also have an ice in progress so the sea level is
lower. Because of that there are more and larger islands and many present day
islands which are part of the mainland. Problem is there are none of these on
the northern coast of Africa. They are all on the southern coast of Europe. In
fact almost all of them are centered on Greece.

All in all the most probable route to Crete is by land out of Africa, north
then west across southern Europe and from there rafts island hopping to
eventually wind up in Crete.

--
If a man criticizes Israel he will be condemned as antisemitic.
What does a comdemned man gain from restraint?
-- The Iron Webmaster, 4213
http://www.giwersworld.org/antisem/ Antisemitism a10
Wed Jan 20 23:22:33 EST 2010

Matt Giwer

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Jan 21, 2010, 12:15:32 AM1/21/10
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Jack Linthicum wrote:
...

> On another newsgroup I postulated an effort like that of the Paleo-
> Indians, Polynesians and the Australian Aborigines, horizon fever.
> Very common in the U.S. The Daniel Boones and Marcus Whitmans of the
> 1830s and 40s wanted to see what was "over there".

All as in ALL of our historical examples of wandering "over there" came with
a knowledge or a near-certain belief, the Columbus case, that there was
something over there and often preceded by meeting people from over there, the
Daniel Boone case.

Despite the common belief in exploration for its own sake I can find no
examples of it.

--
Happiness is simple. Do not compare yourself to others.
-- The Iron Webmaster, 4205
http://www.giwersworld.org/israel/is-seg.phtml a14
Wed Jan 20 23:50:16 EST 2010

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