Scientists have grudgingly begun to admit that our species was able to cross large stretches of ocean perhaps as long ago as 60,000 years. Turns out we probably weren’t the only seafaring human species. A new study–based on genetics–proposes that Denisovans similarly found a way to navigate the deep waters and strong currents–and they interbred with us as we crossed paths.
But archaeological evidence indicates that other human species crossed ocean barriers as well: 1) the “Hobbits” (H. floresiensis) inhabited Flores, Indonesia, maybe as far back as 700,000 years ago; 2) an unknown species left 118,000 to 194,000-year-old stone-tools on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island; and 3) 50,000-year-old H. luzonensis bones were recently found in the Philippines.
It appears that scientists continue to underestimate the abilities and technological innovations of early humans.