Ancient Mariners

Random History by Gretchen Stringer-Robinson

Waterways were our first highways. Ever since the first man floated on a raft, we’ve been working on ways to improve watercraft.

The first rafts were made from reeds, wooden logs, or bamboo which were lashed together. Later came canoes, which were dug out or burned out of large trees. Some ancient peoples used leather or cloth and pitch to frame their canoes. As you can see, natural resources dictated what kind of watercraft you could build.

Ancient Mariners 1

In the Mediterranean Sea and the area around it, ancient Mesopotamians and Egyptians traded and used the waterways to transport goods and people.


The Neolithic Ubiads built reed boats as early as 5500 B.C.E.  They managed to travel down the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers and got all the way to the Persian Gulf; they also traveled along the coasts of Saudi Arabria, Bahrain, and Qatar.  We know this because their pottery has…

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