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
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.
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).