Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


7 June 2011

The unhailed mariners of prehistoric Greece’s seas

Stefanos Psimenos, eKathimerini, 30-05-2011

“Find a good corner on the deck, and I’ll be with you in a minute,” my fellow traveler Frontis shouted over the din of cars as he secured his motorcycle on the ferryboat’s parking deck. The journey from Kythera, south of the Peloponnese, to Kasteli in the region of Kissamos on the northwestern tip of Crete was scheduled to take about four hours in the choppy waters, whipped up by strong northerly winds. “Can you imagine our ancient ancestors making this journey in primitive boats, without equipment, maps, knowledge and mainly without a known destination, into the enticing and frightening unknown?” Frontis asked as he leaned against the railing. “It must have been like a trip to another planet,” I responded. “But the Minoans were brave and capable sailors, mastering the means made available to them by the nautical developments of 1,500 years before the birth of Christ.” “Sure,” said Frontis. “But I’m not talking about the Minoans; I mean sailors that came long before them.” I laughed at him. “How much older? Should I add another zero to 1500 BC?” Frontis, his eyes still turned to the sea, responded, “Add two.” I looked at him, astounded.

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