Pp. 110-161 (52)
Robert G. Bednarik
The rationale for conducting scientific experiments to explain archaeological
issues is explained. In presenting an application of these principles, the First Mariners
project is introduced, by first narrating the relevant hard evidence. This consists of
numerous finds in many parts of the world, but particular attention is given to the
islands of Wallacea, in the Indonesian Archipelago. The discovery of the evidence of
very early human presence on the islands of Flores, Timor, and Roti is described and
evaluated. The context for the first human colonization of Greater Australia is thus
established, and the subsequent maritime exploits of these seafarers in that region are
discussed. The chapter closes with an examination of the technologies of seagoing rafts,
based on what is ethnographically known about water transport generally.
Replicative archaeology, First Mariners project, early navigation
evidence, sea level changes, Pleistocene seafaring, Mediterranean, Wallacea,
Australia, ethnographic watercraft, maritime rafts.
International Federation of Rock Art Organisations (IFRAO) PO Box 216 Caulfield, South Melbourne,VIC 3162, Australia.