Up the creek without a paddle?

Mesolithic canoe Creative Commons 2.0Great story out this week. Decorated and painted paddles dating back to the Ertebølle “culture”—late Mesolithic hunter-gatherer-fisher—have recently been found in Horsens Fjord, Denmark. They were being damaged by strong ocean currents.

“The indispensable dugouts enabled the Ertebølle people to travel far and wide. They could even travel across ice in winter, so it was probably not uncommon for them to meet people of foreign origin.”

The paddles have been Carbon-14 dated to around 4700-4540 BC, the Middle period of the Danish Ertebølle period.

“The painted paddle blades bear witness to the decorations and colours which have undoubtedly been a regular part of everyday life in the Stone Age, but of which we only get the occasional glimpse.”

Read the article | Nov 2012 →
More pictures and coverage | Feb 2012 →
Some more visualisation images* of Mesolithic life →

* Creative Commons 2.0 licenses