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The timeline from 800,000 BP - 200 BC
A larger version of this timeline image can be downloaded at the end of this step.

The archaeology of seafaring through the ages

Since the earliest periods, people have taken to the seas and rivers of the world to undertake travel, communication, trade, exploration and warfare.

The timeline that we refer to in this step tells the story of seafaring across the ages using the archaeological record as its primary source. We begin with the earliest evidence for open water crossings; to the ancient continent of Sahul. Then we encounter the prehistoric impact of sea-level change since the last ice age, principally in north-west Europe. Finally we move into the historic period and discover the increasing mastery of the art and knowledge of seafaring and navigation by humans.

This timeline dates back as far as 200BC and deliberately only includes a few key entries as we want to crowdsource the information that is included. We are hoping to hear from FutureLearners all over the world, so that we get a complete view of seafaring through the ages.

We have a separate timeline (see step image and download) that dates back as far as 800 000 BC. This is for practical reasons - if we included everything before 200BC on the same timeline, you would spend a lot of time scrolling!

We have categorised the timeline entries as:

  • People & Places
  • Ships & Shipwrecks
  • The Maritime Environment

Explore the timeline

Which shipwrecks and events do you think should be included?

We need to know:

  • Name
  • Location
  • A link to a good source of information for other people (in English)

Ideally, you will also provide:

  • A link with a relevant image

Please post your ideas in the comments. We will update the timeline every weekday during Week 2, and again at the end of the course.

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This article is from the free online course:

Shipwrecks and Submerged Worlds: Maritime Archaeology

University of Southampton

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