Cruisers Forum
 


Join CruisersForum Today

Reply
 
Thread Tools Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 28-03-2016, 10:20   #106
Registered User

Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: San Francisco, CA
Posts: 30
Re: Ancient navigation

Interesting recent article on traditional Polynesian navigation. The navigation is based on developing a feeling for particular waves. The article recounts two modern voyages between different islands in the Marshall Islands.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/ma...lots.html?_r=0
__________________

__________________
mrichmon is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 10:39   #107
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 4,379
Images: 34
Re: Ancient navigation

I always thought navigation was not just the art of finding an invisible but known location over the horizon, but making it safely back home again no matter where you ended up. Heading out could be wandering, but making it home is navigating. It seems at least a few Polynesians, Phoenicians, Vikings, Chinese et al. pulled that off. You don't need EVERY Polynesian to be a successful navigator for that culture, or any culture, to make it work, do you?
__________________

__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 10:51   #108
Moderator
 
Don C L's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Channel Islands, CA
Boat: 1962 Columbia 29 MK 1 #37
Posts: 4,379
Images: 34
Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrichmon View Post
Interesting recent article on traditional Polynesian navigation. The navigation is based on developing a feeling for particular waves. The article recounts two modern voyages between different islands in the Marshall Islands.

http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/20/ma...lots.html?_r=0
Great article. Thanks for posting!
__________________
DL
Pythagoras
1962 Columbia 29 MKI #37
Don C L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 10:57   #109
Registered User
 
Polux's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Portugal/Med
Boat: Comet 41s
Posts: 5,761
Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Re the Phoenicians.. some do.. some do not.. personally I see little correlation between their script and the ancient Vedic script which became Classical Sanskrit around the beginning of the 2nd millennium BCE.. but then.. they were not in 'Europe' were they..
I don't understand your point. Sanskrit has nothing to do with western and mid eastern languages that derived from the Phoenician alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet was the first modern one and had only 22 letters, all of which are consonants.

On the Sanskrit there are about a thousand conjunct consonants. That is not what is called a modern alphabet.

"There are about a thousand conjunct consonants, most of which combine two or three consonants. There are also some with four-consonant conjuncts and at least one well-known conjunct with five consonants. "
http://www.omniglot.com/writing/sanskrit.htm

The Phoenicians needed a language that was easily understandable and easily written by all, due to the trade needs and that was what lead to the creation of the first modern alphabet.
Polux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 11:00   #110
Registered User

Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Aboard, presently in the Indian Ocean
Boat: Trisbal 36
Posts: 86
Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
Maybe you can point me to the great accomplishments of Polynesian culture, even regarding navigation and their contribute to the actual state of the art?

I do not wish to undermine the navigational talents of the Polynesian but referring to them on a global way like this is obviously doing the opposite on a ridiculous scale.

As previously said, when I recognise Polynesian feats, this devalues European accomplishments in no way. For sure Europeans, have been the major innovative force these last few centuries. Although I must say that implying Phoenicians were Europeans is in my opinion a large distortion, but this is maybe another subject.

Now back to Polynesian navigation. What I do consider as a major accomplishment, yes, is the fact that these were people (or more precisely, there were among them some highly skilled people) who were able to successfully explore, navigate, and colonise islands at the scale of an entire ocean, and the biggest in the world at that.

Let us not forget that the Portuguese indeed embarked on the Age of Discoveries only in the 15th century, and before them only the Vikings managed to sail long distances offshore, somehow. Polynesians, these were people who knew how to find their way across oceans at a time when the Europeans were afraid of sailing out of sight of land.

As others mentionned, the (North-)Western European society was pretty basic until "recently" (on an Old World time scale, not in a New World sense when something 50 years old is considered historical). And true, there must have been a lot of hit and miss in Polynesian navigation, many never coming back. But what about European shipping ? Same story !

Now I also agree with you, we owe today's navigation methods largely to the Westerners because their innovation and successes have been tremendous lately. And in comparison, the Polynesian culture largely stalled. But so do all cultures at some point. The Arabs after 1000, the Romans after 200, the Chinese around 1600, the Europeans after 1914, the Greeks after 300BC, the Mayas after 800. And the Americans probably at some point in the 21st century ? Just be aware that some great future civilization might look back at the great Western feats with a similar eye as the one you have for the Polynesians today: some people who vaguely accomplished some minor stuff a long time ago, but long forgotten since.


Sent from my iPhone using Cruisers Sailing Forum
__________________
belle-isle is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 11:09   #111
Registered User
 
Muckle Flugga's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Aboard the Ocean wave
Boat: 55' sloop.
Posts: 1,426
Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Don C L View Post
I always thought navigation was not just the art of finding an invisible but known location over the horizon, but making it safely back home again no matter where you ended up. Heading out could be wandering, but making it home is navigating. It seems at least a few Polynesians, Phoenicians, Vikings, Chinese et al. pulled that off. You don't need EVERY Polynesian to be a successful navigator for that culture, or any culture, to make it work, do you?
No indeed you do not, and those suggesting the polynesian voyages were all one way and accidental are just flat wrong. For example:

World History Timeline History Australia and Oceania 30 BC

The Polynesians maintained a strong cultural homogeneity for well over 2000 years, and across more than 1000 islands, spanning an absolutely VAST area of the planet. For comparison, Western Europe covers an area significantly smaller than French Polynesia alone. And there were hegemonies of centralised power over immense areas, such as that weilded by the Tongan Empire in the 12th to 14th Centuries. But hey, they just did it all by accident, because Europe.
__________________
‘Structural engineering is the art of modeling materials we do not wholly understand into shapes we cannot precisely analyse as to withstand forces we cannot properly assess in such a way that the public at large has no reason to suspect the extent of our ignorance.’
Muckle Flugga is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 11:43   #112
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,203
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polux View Post
I don't understand your point. Sanskrit has nothing to do with western and mid eastern languages that derived from the Phoenician alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet was the first modern one and had only 22 letters, all of which are consonants.

On the Sanskrit there are about a thousand conjunct consonants. That is not what is called a modern alphabet.

"There are about a thousand conjunct consonants, most of which combine two or three consonants. There are also some with four-consonant conjuncts and at least one well-known conjunct with five consonants. "
Sanskrit alphabet, pronunciation and language

The Phoenicians needed a language that was easily understandable and easily written by all, due to the trade needs and that was what lead to the creation of the first modern alphabet.
Merely pointing out that there were written languages before the Phoenicians.. all they did was adapt existing scripts to an understandable format for people they traded with both East and West.. it had to be simple and easy to learn to cope with the multitude of peoples they traded with.. much as the creation of Urdu much much later by the Mughals of India to deal with a sub-continent of over 250 different languages.. your argument seems to be that all is Western creation.. I'm merely pointing out that in fact at that time it was a tiny part of a world which to date is largely ignored or trivialised.
Civilisations come and go.. how much is really known about the early Sumerians for example.. a lot off Sumerisation to be sure..
There's been active trade by sea along the Arabian Gulf coasts and India.. stretching to what is today Malaysia and up to China going back for a long time.. much knowledge has been lost along the way..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 11:56   #113
Registered User
 
Island Time O25's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2014
Posts: 2,019
Re: Ancient navigation

Oh and btw Madagascar was also populated by West sailing Austronesians/Polynesians.

Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and AD 550 by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. (wiki)
__________________
Island Time O25 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 12:04   #114
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,203
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Oh and btw Madagascar was also populated by West sailing Austronesians/Polynesians.

Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and AD 550 by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. (wiki)
And I still hold to my opinion that the Giants driven into the sea as recorded in the ancient Veda's were the ancestors of todays Polynesians driven ever East in their search for sanctuary which ended up in the sparsely or unpopulated Pacific islands.
As to their voyages.. they were the Vikings of the Pacific one could say with Islands raiding each other for women to minimise inbreeding.. sacrifice to the particular island god.. and a protein food source.
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 12:07   #115
Registered User
 
Polux's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Portugal/Med
Boat: Comet 41s
Posts: 5,761
Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by belle-isle View Post
As previously said, when I recognise Polynesian feats, this devalues European accomplishments in no way. ...

Now back to Polynesian navigation. What I do consider as a major accomplishment, yes, is the fact that these were people (or more precisely, there were among them some highly skilled people) who were able to successfully explore, navigate, and colonise islands at the scale of an entire ocean, and the biggest in the world at that.
...
At the time the Phoenicians existed it makes no sense to talk about Europe that did not existed as an entity but it only makes sense to talk about the group of countries that contributed to the Greek/Latin culture that later would be the basis of western civilization and certainly the Phoenicians were contributors (the alphabet is a major contribution) and it was in what concerns that I was talking about Europe, referring to its trading routes and colonies.

They had several main colonies in Europe, they were not farmers and had no interest in the mainland only on the coasts they own the Balearic Islands, part of Sicily, part of Sardinia, most of the Spanish med coast, most of the African coast and have more trade out posts on their way to the British Islands for tin. It is known that Lisbon has once a Phoenician and later a Carthaginian Colony.

A recent study at genetic level showed that it is still possible to trace their genetic heritage on those places on values that go fro 6% to 10% and that after 2500 years and many other conquests and occupations is really amazing.

In Portugal some Phoenician names are still used commonly like Anibal, Sidonio or Amilcar and recent studies show that Phoenician and Carthaginian settlements were much more than what it was thought, even on the Atlantic coast.

My only disagreement regarding Polynesian regards the fact that you seem to consider that they made frequently vast voyages, having trade routes that were maintained. That only happened between the same group of Islands at a relatively small distance.

There is no evidence of an extensive trade link (or any other) between far away Islands and there are evidence that some of those Islands remained practically isolated after being occupied.

Contrary to the Europeans we are talking here about a migration process that took many thousands of years, a one way voyage when it regards oceanic distances, not about trade routes that were maintained open for centuries. We are talking about a local Pacific scenario not about a world wide scale.

Regarding Europeans we are talking about a world wide expansion that took place in some few centuries, of trade routes, of colonies and of open and frequent communication between all the parts.

The two scenarios are not comparable in many points.
Polux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 12:12   #116
Freelance Delivery Skipper..
 
boatman61's Avatar

Community Sponsor
Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: UK/Portugal
Posts: 20,203
Images: 2
Send a message via Skype™ to boatman61
pirate Re: Ancient navigation

So why introduce it.. you know you'll get an argument..
__________________


Born To Be Wild
boatman61 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 12:45   #117
Registered User
 
rognvald's Avatar

Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Summer: In the land of Wooly Mammoths
Boat: Pearson 34-II
Posts: 2,252
Images: 2
Re: Ancient navigation

"Given that you completely neglect, for example, Egypt, Mesopotamia, China and India in your apparent suggestion that I have little grasp of The History of Mankind (your caps) and your lionisation of "Western European Man" as being the sine qua non (and even more absurdly, originator!) of said civilised history, "
Muckle


Muckle,
When I mentioned Greece, Rome and Persia, it was in no way disregarding Egypt and Mesopotamia, but by inference inclusive of the Mediterranean basin. That was obvious to me but perhaps not to you. Sorry.
In regards to China, it wasn't until an Italian by the name of Marco Polo(and others) "discovered" their civilization in the 13th Century that their civilization became "known" but they offered little to advance Western Civilization thereafter(being a closed insular society as opposed to the wandering Europeans) although they invented paper, gunpowder and simple printing. However, India is a much different case as they are known to have invented Algebra, Trigonometry, Geometry, the Binary System, Astronomy, Navigation and Medicine. But, the bottom line is not who invented areas of discovery but what people did with that knowledge to advance the world by their use. And, it is European Man who holds that historical laurel. The names are too numerous to mention but here's a few: Copernicus, Newton, Galileo, Darwin, Kepler, Einstein, Hawkins, Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, Verdi, Chopin, Vivaldi, Wagner, DaVinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Bosch, Durer, Van Dyck, Lautrec, Gauguin, Von Gogh . . . (we'll leave out the explorers and great conquerors to save time). My point is that we do not seek to disparage or undervalue contributions from other cultures, but there is no culture that exists in the world today that has done more to advance the civilization of the world than European Man . . . although today, it has become quite fashionable to rewrite History to promote a political and sociological agenda for the One World Crowd. Sorry, Muckle . . . the facts are the facts no matter how much the New Age Historians attempt to distort World History. Good luck and safe sailing.
__________________
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music."
Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathrustra
rognvald is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 12:49   #118
Registered User
 
Polux's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Portugal/Med
Boat: Comet 41s
Posts: 5,761
Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by boatman61 View Post
Merely pointing out that there were written languages before the Phoenicians.. all they did was adapt existing scripts to an understandable format for people they traded with both East and West.. .... your argument seems to be that all is Western creation.. I'm merely pointing out that in fact at that time it was a tiny part of a world which to date is largely ignored or trivialised...
Some times you are confusing and confused. The thing that the Phoenicians "invented" was a modern Alphabet that is on the basis of many modern Alphabets including our own, not a language. Alphabet is a way to put into writing a language in a phonetically way it has not to do with the language itself.

The Sanskrit is written in many alphabets including Latin, that has a Phoenician origin (the Alphabet not the language).

The Phoenician language is a Semite language from the same sub group as the Hebrew, this group:


The first know Semitic writes have about 5000 years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semitic_languages

The Sanskrit is a Indo- European languages, the languages you and me speak, and to the variant of Indo-Iranian languages, the oldest of them the Vedic Sanskrit. The oldest writes have about 3500 years.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vedic_Sanskrit
Polux is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 13:02   #119
Senior Cruiser

Cruisers Forum Supporter

Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Long Beach, CA
Boat: Tayana Vancouver 42
Posts: 1,854
Ancient navigation

An interesting read, 1491 by Charles Mann. It looks at the Americas ( north south and central) before European contact. Similar circumstances to ancient Polynesia. There were greatly advanced cultures with histories, mathematics, art, agriculture, civic infrastructures and managed environments. There was writing via pictographs, beads and a binary code knot writing. These things were so different from what Europeans were accustomed to that they were not recognized. And when populations were decimated due to introduced diseases whole cultures and their collected knowledge were lost.




S/V B'Shert
__________________
Tayana42 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 28-03-2016, 13:15   #120
Registered User
 
Polux's Avatar

Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Portugal/Med
Boat: Comet 41s
Posts: 5,761
Re: Ancient navigation

Quote:
Originally Posted by Island Time O25 View Post
Oh and btw Madagascar was also populated by West sailing Austronesians/Polynesians.

Human settlement of Madagascar occurred between 350 BC and AD 550 by Austronesian peoples arriving on outrigger canoes from Borneo. (wiki)
To understand the migration of Indonesians you just have to follow the currents. They have been for millennia Island people used to travel between islands, sometimes they got lost and were carried by currents. Later, if possible they used those currents and winds to their advantage.

That article regarding wave patterns makes all the sense. Those different wave patterns indicated currents that was what they wanted to follow.

Indonesia have over 17 000 islands.
__________________

Polux is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
navigation

Thread Tools
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Cruising sailor finds massive ancient temple site in Philippines pbmaise Cruising News & Events 40 16-08-2017 02:17
Ancient Roller Furling? Jimske Deck hardware: Rigging, Sails & Hoisting 9 08-04-2013 09:34
Following the Steps of the Ancient Mariners...Trade Trebek1 Dollars & Cents 2 28-12-2009 19:57



Copyright 2002- Social Knowledge, LLC All Rights Reserved.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:44.


Google+
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Social Knowledge Networks
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

ShowCase vBulletin Plugins by Drive Thru Online, Inc.