Anthropology: Current and Future Developments

Volume: 1

The First Mariners

This volume summarizes the history and findings of the First Mariners Project, which the author, Robert G. Bednarik, commenced in 1996 in order to explore the Ice Age origins of seafaring. This is ...
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Rafts at Sea

Pp. 256-299 (44)

Robert G. Bednarik


Furnished with and emboldened by an increasing understanding of the technology of seagoing rafts, the First Mariners project examines the question of how early hominins crossed sea barriers successfully to colonize Wallacean islands. Both the straits separating Lombok from Sumbawa and Sumbawa from Komodo/Flores are subjected to such attention. Although both experiments succeed ultimately, they also confirm that due to the transverse currents regulating all sea narrows it is impossible to traverse them without adequate propelling power to overcome these strong currents. The chapter concludes with a theoretical discussion of the variables determining the conditions under which Pleistocene sea crossings were accomplished.


Sape Strait, Sumbawa, Komodo, Rangki Papa, Ales Strait, Lombok, Lombok raft, shaman, maritime experiments, bamboo rafts.


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