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Old 11-02-2019, 17:09   #1
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Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in stones

Schulz Paulsson from U Gothenburg in Sweden has just published a remarkable paper in PNAS (Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA).

Paulsson argues that people from the Finistère peninsula (where Finistère = finis terre = the end of the land or the head of the land) in present-day France started about 4700 BCE (about 6.700 years ago) a radiation of people and ideas.

The marks of that radiation are the megalith structures found along the coastlines of Europe, particularly along the Atlantic facade, and the E or SE-facing passage graves.

If you've sailed the French coast, you'll have noted a couple of megalithic structures that are visible from sea and are suggestive of being erected as both nav aids and marks left by someone who had returned from successful trading voyages.

The passage graves oriented to the direction of the rising sun (E or SE, depending where you are and at what time of year in Europe) have been interpreted both as pointing to some ancestral home and as a marker of how people navigated.

The number of discovered and dated megalithic structures in Europe has increased in the past four decades or so. Paulsson considered the data and the earlier attempts to explain them (a radiation of ideas and people from the E Med, a radiation of missionaries who travelled by land or sea).

Paulsson concludes that seafaring and seafarers were moving ideas and people around the Atlantic facade starting at least 6,700 years ago.
Paulsson's conclusion suggests the history of European sailing has to be longer and more involved than we've previously accepted.

Here's a map with timeline from his paper (the key to the timeline is at bottom; red is the oldest):

Read Schulz Paulsson's paper for yourself at: https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2.../05/1813268116

I'd post the pdf, but it's 15 MB.

Strengthens the feeling of historical connection that I get each time I use my Breton plotter (and remember Yvonnick Guéret).
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Old 14-02-2019, 04:40   #2
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Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

Cool!!! Thanx Alan.
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Old 14-02-2019, 05:08   #3
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pirate Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

Finisterre is actually present day N Spain.. the Western most point of Galcia.
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Old 14-02-2019, 15:56   #4
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Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

Wouldn’t surprise me if there’s one in Spain - it’s the kind of name that tends to get repeated, but the one I’ve visited is definitely in France.
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Old 14-02-2019, 16:42   #5
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pirate Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

Cabo Finisterre was named by the Romans as the Western most point of Europe.. La Coruna just to the North and round the corner has what is claimed to be the oldest Roman lighthouse in use today..

The Tower of Hercules (Galician and Spanish: Torre de Hércules) is an ancient Roman lighthouse on a peninsula about 2.4 kilometers (1.5 mi) from the centre of Corunna, Galicia, in north-western Spain. Until the 20th century, the tower itself was known as the "Farum Brigantium". The Latin word farum is derived from the Greek pharos for the Lighthouse of Alexandria. The structure is 55 metres (180 ft) tall and overlooks the North Atlantic coast of Spain. The structure, built in the 2nd century and renovated in 1791
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Old 14-02-2019, 16:43   #6
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Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

Quote:
Originally Posted by AnglaisInHull View Post
Wouldn’t surprise me if there’s one in Spain - it’s the kind of name that tends to get repeated, but the one I’ve visited is definitely in France.
One what that you visited in France? Tower or Cape named Finistere?
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Old 14-02-2019, 16:47   #7
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Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

Okay, if it was named by the Romans I’ll give it precedence.

But the folks in Brittany make good puns out of it, at least. In honour of the geographic position they have a local beer named “Phare Ouest”. Literally “Western Lighthouse” but pronounced “Far West”.

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Old 14-02-2019, 16:50   #8
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Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

@DeepFrz: It’s the name of the department in western Brittany.
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Old 14-02-2019, 17:33   #9
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Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

But to get back to the original post, this is a very interesting analysis. We know those folks were serious sailors but it may go back farther than we thought.


I didn't get how the Baysian modeling fit in, but admit that I skimmed the abstract and discussion pretty quickly.
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Old 14-02-2019, 19:43   #10
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Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

I'se done be surprised that you good ol'boys what specialise in nit-picking 'stead of readin' and comprehending ain't yet pointed out that "Lands End" in the UK just be a translation of Finistère into a bastardised Germanic language.

Or dat the Bretons had their own name for da place, which oddly enough also means 'end of the land'.

Or dat you quibbled not about the number of R letters in Finistère.

But keep it coming. Let the record show (as it does: just browse the threads on Zika virus) you'all for the intelligentsia you ain't.
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Old 15-02-2019, 17:18   #11
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pirate Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

Well.. not being one of the 'Intelligentsia' nor a member of the 'Spelling Gestapo' just a mere seaman, if I twisted your knickers.. my apologies,
Next time I will endeavour to be clearer and state you are referring to an area of land which, like Cornwall is a coastal Prefecture bounded by the sea on three sides and, while of geographical relevance has no nautical/navigational relevance whatsoever unlike Finisterre or Lands End which are seen marked on Nautical Charts of European waters in N Spain and Southwest Britain.
Carry on sailing chaps.. don't mind us 'skeeters'.

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Old 15-02-2019, 19:36   #12
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Re: Sailing from Finistère: 6,700 years of European sailing history preserved in ston

AAS has its take on Schultz Paulsson's paper:

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019...gins-monuments
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