Teacher crosses Atlantic to Spain in a reed boat

11th July 2007, Comments 0 comments

11 July 2007 , NEW YORK - A German former schoolteacher planned to set out Wednesday to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Spain in a reed boat designed to replicate ocean voyages that he believes were taking place 12,000 years before Christopher Columbus' famous trip.

11 July 2007

NEW YORK  - A German former schoolteacher planned to set out Wednesday to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Spain in a reed boat designed to replicate ocean voyages that he believes were taking place 12,000 years before Christopher Columbus' famous trip.

Dominique Gorlitz, 40, an ex-teacher from Chemnitz, Germany, was due to set sail Wednesday from New York Harbor, bound for Spain. He said the two-month journey on his 41-foot (12.5-meter) reed-and-eucalyptus craft would demonstrate that ancient mariners could have crossed the Atlantic, though some scholars have expressed doubts about his assertions.

The boat, partly built by Aymara Indians in Bolivia and assembled over a period of months at a New Jersey marina, is based on what Gorlitz says is a north African sketch dating back thousands of years. It has a crew of 11 in addition to the owner.

According to Gorlitz, traces of tobacco and cocaine found in the tomb of Egypt's pharaoh Ramses II are evidence of long-distance trans-Atlantic commerce during the Stone Age, and cave drawings in Spain show that people living 14,000 years ago had an understanding of ocean currents.

Solid evidence of Gorlitz's claims of prehistoric ocean crossings is lacking, according to some scholars in the field.

Reed boats have been around for centuries, especially in South America, where they are still built by Aymara living on Lake Titicaca.

The most famous in modern times were Ra and Ra II, papyrus craft in which noted Norwegian explorer Thor Heyerdahl sailed from Morocco to Barbados in 1969 and 1970, seeking to prove that early Mediterranean sailors could have crossed the Atlantic.

[Copyright AP with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news


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