7,000-Year-Old Sailing Technology Uncovered Near Rome Reshapes History

Seven thousand years ago, people sailed with technologically superior ships. The discovery of ancient boats at a lake near Rome revealed Neolithic societies' advanced construction methods.

Stone Age sailors built boats well. Floating units and coastal and island communities show Neolithic sea trade. Spanish scientists from the Higher Council for Scientific Research and other institutions described Neolithic Mediterranean sailing methods.

Modern ships have several elements that Neolithic Mediterranean mariners used. The quality and complexity of these historical improvements show several late Stone Age sailing advances helped major ancient civilizations conquer and spread.

Researchers unearthed five canoes or kayaks made from hollowed-out tree trunks at La Marmotta, dating from 5700 to 5100 BCE. Unlike other archeological artifacts, these boats were built from four woods.

The discovery of three wooden "T"s with holes in one boat was significant. These may have fastened lines to sails or connected a stabilizer or secondary boat to construct a double-hulled catamaran.

Their brochure stated that such technologies would have increased safety, stability, and movement of people, animals, and freight. Archaic ships require an organized, specialized staff and a deep understanding of construction and wood properties.

Comparing the unearthed boats to modern sailing technologies reinforces the idea that Neolithic sailing advanced greatly. The experts think more ancient boat wreckage may be near La Marmotta, offering exciting research opportunities.

"La Marmotta's Neolithic boats are the oldest known in the Mediterranean Basin, according to direct dating. The authors noted that this analysis shows early agricultural and pastoral cultures' technological skill in woodworking and complicated shipbuilding.

In 1989, the Neolithic settlement of La Marmotta was found twenty-six feet beneath Lake Bracciano, 984 feet from the beach and connected to the Mediterranean Sea.

Between 1992-2006 and 2009, excavations unearthed five boats and a vast collection of wooden weaving equipment, food baskets, and other things. These results imply Mediterranean proximity made La Marmotta a thriving farming and business village.

The largest oak boat found is 36 feet long, while the rest are 13 to 31 feet long and made of alder, poplar, and beech. Given their size, these boats may have navigated the Mediterranean Sea beyond Lake Bracciano.

 La Marmotta's Greek or Baltic pottery and Lipari and Palmarola obsidian implements corroborate this theory. A replica canoe made by researchers sailed over 497 kilometers from Italy to Portugal in 1998.

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