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The marine environment and its influence on seafaring and maritime routes in the prehistoric Aegean

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  25 January 2017

Despoina Papageorgiou*
Affiliation:
Athens, Greece

Abstract

This article seeks to illustrate the decisive contribution of the sea environment and particularly the sea-surface circulation (which is determined by the circulation of sea currents and the winds) to the early growth of seafaring and maritime communications in the prehistoric Aegean. Given the means and techniques of navigation in that era, an attempt is made to reveal a dense network of sea routes which vessels could follow through the Aegean, in order to facilitate their trip. These sea routes are primarily based on environmental data and are confirmed concurrently by archaeological evidence and data of ancient sources. Therefore, it is evident that these sea routes played an important role not only in the early inhabitation of the Aegean islands and the foundation of coastal settlements throughout the Aegean area from the sixth millennium BC to the end of the third millennium BC, but in the development of the Aegean civilization during earlier prehistoric times as well.

Cet article essaie d'illustrer la contribution décisive de l'environnement marin et en particulier de la circulation en surface de l'eau (déterminée par la circulation des courants et des vents) sur le début de l'expansion de la navigation et des communications maritimes en Égée préhistorique. Étant donné les moyens et les techniques de navigation à cette époque, on essaie de déceler un dense réseau de voies maritimes que les vaisseaux pouvaient suivre à travers la mer Égée afin de faciliter leur voyage. Ces voies sont essentiellement fondées sur des données environnementales, et sont simultanément confirmées par des preuves archéologiques et des données provenant de sources anciennes. Par conséquent il est évident que ces routes jouaient un rôle important non seulement dans la première colonisation des îles Égéennes et la fondation des villages côtiers dans toute la région Égéenne à partir du 6e millénaire BC jusqu'à la fin du 3e millénaire BC, mais également dans le développement de la civilisation Égéenne pendant les temps préhistoriques plus anciens.

Zusammenfassung

Zusammenfassung

Diese Studie versucht den entscheidenden Beitrag der marinen Umwelt und besonders der Zirkulation der Meeresoberfläche, die von den Meeresströmungen und Winden beeinflusst wird, für die frühe Entwicklung der Seefahrt und maritimen Kommunikation in der vorgeschichtlichen Ägäis zu illustrieren. Die Mittel und Techniken der Navigation in dieser Zeit vorausgesetzt, wird der Versuch der Ermittlung eines dichten Netzwerkes von Seerouten, dem die Schiffe zur Erleichterung ihrer Reise durch die Ägäis folgen konnten, unternommen. Diese Seerouten basieren grundsätzlich auf Umweltdaten und werden durch archäologische Belege und Daten aus frühen Quellen belegt. Daher ist es offenkundig, dass diese Seerouten nicht nur bei der frühen Besiedlung der ägäischen Inseln und der Gründung von Küstensiedlungen in der Ägäis vom 6. bis zum 3. Jt. v. Chr., sondern bereits ebenso während der Entwicklung der ägäischen Zivilisation in früheren vorgeschichtlichen Zeiträumen, eine bedeutende Rolle spielten.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 Sage Publications 

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