Skip to comments.Voyage To Prove Pharaohs Traded Cocaine
Posted on 05/29/2007 6:47:52 PM PDT by blam
Voyage to prove pharaohs traded cocaine
By Tom Leonard in New York
Last Updated: 2:21am BST 30/05/2007
An adventurer who believes that ancient man regularly crossed the Atlantic Ocean 14,000 years ago plans to recreate such a voyage in a 41ft raft made of reeds and eucalyptus tree branches.
Basing his theory on the thinnest of historical evidence, Dominique Gorlitz believes that the discovery of traces of tobacco and cocaine in the tomb of the pharaoh Rameses II proves that there was trade between the Old and New Worlds.
He also claims that 14,000-year-old cave paintings in Spain show that, even then, men had an intricate knowledge of sea currents.
"Why is it so difficult to accept that ancient man explored the world?" Mr Gorlitz told the New York Times.
More than 25 volunteers are building the craft at a marina in New Jersey in preparation for the crossing attempt in July, manned by a 12-strong crew.
Mr Gorlitz, 40, a former schoolteacher from Chemnitz, Germany, based the ship's design on a 6,000-year-old African drawing.
Part of the vessel was built by Amyra Indians in Bolivia and then shipped to America.
The expedition echoes the 3,800 mile journey across the Pacific in the Kon-Tiki in 1947 by the Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl. Heyerdahl believed that people from South America could have settled in Polynesia in Pre-Columbian times.
To prove his theory, he sailed across the Pacific in 1947 from Peru in a balsa wood boat.
After 101 days, he smashed his boat into a reef 4,300 miles away in the Tuamotu Islands, proving it was possible that people could have accomplished such a journey with ease.
Mr Gorlitz's ship, the Abora III, will use modern navigation equipment. However, unlike the Kon-Tiki, it will sail against the prevailing currents and winds.
Many historians are sceptical about Mr Gorlitz's theory.
"There's this 99.9 per cent certainty that it didn't happen, because we don't have evidence that it happened," said Kenneth Feder, an anthropology professor at the Central Connecticut State University. Prof Feder said the mishmash of materials and time periods that will have gone into creating the ship will mean that the voyage will provide little of scientific value.
He asked: "If the boat succeeds, what have they proved?
"That a Bolivian boat can cross the Atlantic?" Undeterred, Mr Gorlitz is trying to raise around £279,000 for the expedition.
He is also looking for more volunteers to sail with him in July.
Although he does not have a sailing licence, Mr Gorlitz will be steering the vessel himself.
"It's like kung fu," the explorer said.
"The less you know, the better."
The craft's construction engineer will also make the journey, a particularly brave commitment to its seaworthiness, because he cannot swim.
Is it possible Cocoa grew in N. Africa 14K years ago? It was cooler and wetter then.
It wasn’t that they liked the high so much as they liked the smell...
So....what’s this guy on?
So if he makes it how does it prove “that ancient man regularly crossed the Atlantic Ocean”?
Ping for later. (Got to turn on The Shield.)
Botanists are pretty adamant that the Coca plant is indigenous to Peru and South America at least. Not too sure about Tobacco - but neither should have been available to Egyptians. Supposedly high trace levels have been found in ancient mummies. Not too sure how accurate that claim is.
Only proves that they could have, not that they did.
Maybe but, no-one has ever found any traces of it.
That explains the Aardvark dude and his spoon.
Which is the root of all this.
Seems like very limited trade. Surely Egyptians would have shipped seed and not leaves if they were bright...
Does not entirely make sense. I have seen little real data on the “contamination” of mummies with these New World plant products, so I’m a little skeptical.
But if this guy wants to sail from Egypt to Peru, go for it!
But, don’t the mormons claim that their book of mormon was written by blond haired blue eyed extinct people of south america?
Back on subject...kinda...I remember reading once that the russians claimed when they first discovered alaska, there were tall pale red haired vicious people living in crude stone fortresses that attacked them with arrows and catapults. They refused to surrender, so the russians killed them all. Even women and children fought like demons and were killed. My first thought was that these were the last remnants of the disappeared greenland vikings. I wonder if these fair skinned people all the way down to south america were the same.
“The less you know, the better.”
Sailing across the Atlantic.........in a boat made of crap................at least he's taking this seriously....and he's looking for crew
Well that's a college professor for you.
No, I don’t think that’s what he’s looking for:
“Undeterred, Mr Gorlitz is trying to raise around £279,000 for the expedition.”
Expect unforeseen difficulties JUST as soon as the money’s in hand.
In 1970 Heyerdahl made essentially this exact voyage, sailing from the Mediterranean to Barbados in a reed boat, the Ra.
Odd the article would mention his Kon-Tiki voyage but not that of the Ra.
Except an article about an idiot repeating an already been there done that publicity stunt wouldn’t read too well, I guess.
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