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Boat | Center Moriches, New York

© Sophie W. Smith

Joined October 2012

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Dugouts are the oldest type of boats that archaeologists have found, and boats have served as transportation since the earliest times. Circumstantial evidence, such as the early settlement of Australia over 40,000 years ago, findings in Crete dated 130,000 years ago, and findings in Flores dated to 900,000 years ago, suggest that boats have been used since prehistoric times. The earliest boats are thought to have been logboats, and the oldest boats found by archaeological excavation date from around 7,000–10,000 years ago. The oldest recovered boat in the world is the Pesse canoe, a dugout made from the hollowed tree trunk of a Pinus sylvestris and constructed somewhere between 8200 and 7600 BC. This canoe is exhibited in the Drents Museum in Assen, Netherlands. Other very old dugout boats have also been recovered. A 7,000 year-old seagoing reed boat has been found in Kuwait. Boats were used between 4000 and 3000 BC in Sumer, ancient Egypt and in the Indian Ocean.

Boats played an important role in the commerce between the Indus Valley Civilization and Mesopotamia. Evidence of varying models of boats has also been discovered at various Indus Valley archaeological sites. The Uru was built in Beypore, a village in south Calicut, Kerala, in southwestern India. This mammoth wooden ship was constructed using teak, without any iron, and had a transport capacity of 400 tonnes. Such boats were used by the ancient Arabs and Greeks as trading vessels.

The accounts of historians Herodotus, Pliny the Elder and Strabo suggest that boats were used for commerce and traveling. Read more

Artwork Comments

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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