An Abbreviated History of Ocean Travel and Exploration The First Explorers 4000 B.C.: Egyptians sail along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. 1500 B.C. Phoenicians Developed navigation First to sail outside the Mediterranean Sea: to Britain, North Africa, Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea Founded first fishing ports Traveled mainly for trade with other civilizations Phoenicia Polynesians 1500-1000 B.C.: Explored South Pacific (though some evidence suggests they may have began exploring as many as 30,000 years ago!) Colonized Samoa, Tonga, Easter Island, Fiji, and the Hawaiian Islands. Why did they explore? Overpopulation Depletion of resources Political tensions Religious strife. Polynesians Continued How would these early ocean explorers know where to find land in a vast sea if they had never been there before? Remember that they don’t have GPS, a compass, or even a map. Marine Life Smells (believe it or not, land has a unique smell from things like flowers). Bird migration patterns (probably most important) Stars Greeks 900-700 B.C.: Begin to explore outside Mediterranean. Thought that the Mediterranean was surrounded by land, which was surrounded by a circling river called Oceanus. 600 B.C. Pythagoreans assume a spherical Earth. 450 B.C. Herodotus produced first map of the Mediterranean. Greeks Continued 325 B.C. Alexander the Great establishes the Library of Alexandria in Egypt. Every ships log put in library Maps were drawn from logs Developed trade and art. Library was burned in 415 AD. 235-192 B.C. Eratosthenes estimates circumference of Earth using geometry. He estimates 39,350 kM. Actual is 40, 067 kM. 127-51 B.C. Ptolemy produced the first world atlas called Geographica. Mis-calculated circumference.Columbus used this map to get to East Indies. What do you think happened? Vikings 700-1000 AD. Voyaged to seek adventure and treasure. Superior shipbuilders and navigators. First to sail to North America. Famous Vikings Erik the Red: Sailed from Iceland and discovered Greenland. Leif Eriksson: Son of Erik the Red. Sailed from Greenland in 1002 AD and reached North America (Canada) 500 years before Columbus. Some say that American colonists reported seeing Native Americans with blonde hair and blue eyes, but this may just be myth.