As the cousin species of modern humans, the Neanderthals have long been fascinating figures in human history. They were known for being skilled hunters, tool-makers, and even artists. But did they also have the ability to craft boats and sail the seas?
The idea of Neanderthals sailing may seem far-fetched, but there is evidence to suggest that it may have been possible. One of the most compelling pieces of evidence is the fact that Neanderthals were able to travel long distances across land. This suggests a degree of navigational skill and resourcefulness that could have translated to the seas.
Furthermore, there are several examples of Neanderthal settlements that are located near bodies of water, such as rivers and lakes. While these bodies of water may not have been large enough to require boats, they do suggest that Neanderthals were comfortable in aquatic environments.
There is even some evidence of Neanderthal-made boats. In 2012, archaeologists discovered a 50,000-year-old wooden tool in France that they believe was used to smooth and shape the hull of a boat. Additionally, there have been several other discoveries of wooden structures that could have been boats or rafts, although these have been more controversial.
So, it is possible that Neanderthals could have sailed the seas. But why would they have done so? One theory is that they may have been searching for new hunting grounds or resources, such as fish or shellfish. Alternatively, they may have been driven by curiosity or a sense of adventure.
While we may never know for sure whether Neanderthals sailed the seas, the evidence suggests that it is a possibility. If so, it would add yet another fascinating chapter to the long and complex history of our extinct relatives.