Whether by land or by sea, we probably will never know, humans somehow managed to get to the Greek island of Naxos tens of thousands of years earlier than archaeologists previously thought.
What this means to laypeople: That humans have been enjoying the exquisite beauty of the Mediterranean for about 200,000 years, according to findings released Thursday by an international research team.
The research, published in the academic journal Science Advances, shared research after years of excavation by scientists from McMaster University in Canada — along with an international team of researchers.
The results brought forth in the report challenge current theories on Stone Age migration across Europe.
“Until recently, this part of the world was seen as irrelevant to early human studies, but the results force us to completely rethink the history of the Mediterranean islands,” said lead author and associate anthropology professor Tristan Carter in a university release.
Until now, scholars believed the Aegean Sea was impassable to Neanderthals and early hominids, and that the Mediterranean islands were settled for only about 9,000 years.
Stone Age hunters, meanwhile, are known to have been on mainland Europe for more than 1 million years. But the Canadian-led research team discovered evidence of human activity on the island of Naxos spanning almost 200,000 years in a prehistoric quarry.
This research is part of the Stelida Naxos Archeological Project, a larger collaboration involving scholars from all over the world.
See a video about the project
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