Sailing across the Timor Sea, as Middle Palaeolithic sailors might have done this 60 000 years ago to reach Australia. Conditions encountered ranged from calm seas to cyclonic monsoon conditions with 5-m waves in a raging sea. On the lower right, the bow of the Nale Tasih 2 juts out 6 or 7 m above the sea as it thunders towards the Australian coast. Its yard arm was smashed, its sail torn to shreds, the steering oar shattered, and all four forward guy ropes, consisting of forest vines, snapped in unison at this stage of the journey.
Replicative archaeology at work: I - Manufacture of a harpoon with a bone point modelled on Middle Palaeolithic specimens and made entirely with stone tools. II - Working bamboo with a Palaeolithic stone chopper which was also used in felling the stalk. III - Om Mberu and Om Ife are gutting a freshly caught fish with stone tools on the Nale Tasih 2. IV - Preparation of wild millet by boiling it in a bucket made of a lontar palm leaf. V - Fire drill used in lighting fires on this expedition.
The archaeology of the First Mariners Project: I - Heavily burnt fragment of large sea shell found with Stegodont remains in Pleistocene deposit of To'os, West Timor. II - Bednarik with fragment of Stegodont molar he just found at Motaoan, West Timor. III - The first Lower Palaeolithic stone tool found in Timor, still in situ at the site Motaoan, West Timor. IV - Moment of recovery of 840 000-year-old stone tool at Boa Leza, Flores, from solidly cemented mudstone. V - Excavation of hominid occupation site at Boa Leza, Flores, showing two molars and mandible of Stegodont as excavated from solid rock.
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Sumbawa - Komodo: the 2004 expedition of First Mariners with National Geographic
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