Seafaring Part of Human’s Ancient Past

Komos Beach on the south coast of Crete, near Matala Source: Own photo. Crete, 2004 Photographer: Arne Nordmann (norro), Germany From Wikimedia Commons

In case you didn’t know Crete is an island.  Shocking, I know but stay with me.  Crete has been an island for five million years.  What happens when you find a quartz stone hand ax on Crete 130,000 years old? You drop a quartz brick in your pants

“I was flabbergasted,” said Boston University archaeologist and stone-tool expert Curtis Runnels. “The idea of finding tools from this very early time period on Crete was about as believable as finding an iPod in King Tut‘s tomb.”

This suggests that Homo heidelbergensis had the ability to set sail pushing the ability to island hop tens of thousands of millennia earlier than expected.


Dr. M (1729 Posts)

Craig McClain is the Assistant Director of Science for the National Evolutionary Synthesis Center, a National Science Foundation supported initiative. He has conducted deep-sea research for 20 years and published over 50 papers in the area. He has participated in and led dozens of oceanographic expeditions taken him to the Antarctic and the most remote regions of the Pacific and Atlantic. Craig’s research focuses on how energy drives the biology of marine invertebrates from individuals to ecosystems, specifically, seeking to uncover how organisms are adapted to different levels of carbon availability, i.e. food, and how this determines the kinds and number of species in different parts of the oceans. Craig’s research has been featured on National Public Radio, Discovery Channel, Fox News, National Geographic and ABC News. In addition to his scientific research, Craig also advocates the need for scientists to connect with the public and is the founder and chief editor of the acclaimed Deep-Sea News (, a popular ocean-themed blog that has won numerous awards. His writing has been featured in Cosmos, Science Illustrated, American Scientist, Wired, Mental Floss, and the Open Lab: The Best Science Writing on the Web. His forthcoming book, Science of the South (, connects cultural icons of South such as pecan pie with the science behind them.