Stone Age Sailors Used Catamarans to Cross Mediterranean 7,000 Years Ago

Archaeologists believe Stone Age sailors used catamarans to cross the Mediterranean 7,000 years ago. Excavated from a Neolithic village near Rome, five large carved wooden canoes suggest long-distance excursions. Evidence of “T-shaped” holed objects indicates sailors may have ventured further afield, possibly even creating double-hulled catamarans for safety and capacity.
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Archaeologists have discovered evidence suggesting that sailors during the Stone Age may have used catamarans to cross the Mediterranean 7,000 years ago. Five large carved wooden canoes were excavated from a submerged Neolithic village near Rome, Italy. These canoes, up to 36 feet long, showed signs of being fastened to sails, indicating long-distance excursions were likely undertaken.

While boats dating back 10,000 years have been found in the Netherlands, France, and Germany, they were believed to have been used for local waterways. The discovery of the canoes in Italy suggests that Stone Age sailors were venturing further afield. Experts suspect that the boats may have been joined together to form a catamaran, providing greater safety, stability, and capacity for transporting people, animals, and goods.

Archaeologists from the Spanish National Research Council in Barcelona believe that the discovery of the canoes, along with evidence of occupation on nearby islands, provides “irrefutable proof” that Neolithic societies were capable of sea travel. This finding highlights the technological sophistication of early agricultural and pastoral communities, showcasing their woodworking skills and ability to construct complex vessels.

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