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Biscay and Beyond? Prehistoric voyaging between two Finisterres

Callaghan, Richard; Scarre, Chris

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Authors

Richard Callaghan

Chris Scarre



Abstract

The Atlantic peninsulas of western Europe present intriguing cultural parallels that reach back into later prehistory. Furthermore, direct evidence of interconnections from the fifth millennium BC is revealed by the movement of specific materials such as Iberian variscite. Brittany and Galicia were key nodes within this potential network of maritime interaction, but debate continues as to the routes that were chosen and the navigational abilities involved. Did early seafarers keep close to the coast and did long journeys involve many intermediate landfalls? Or did crews venture direct crossings of the Bay of Biscay? In the absence of surviving evidence for the kinds of vessel likely to have been used by Neolithic seaborne navigators, modern wind and current data are here used to generate models indicating journey times for small sea-going craft powered only by oars, following the coastal or the direct route. The results are discussed within the context of selected material flows (jadeitite, variscite, copper, Beakers) and against a background of potentially changing maritime technology.

Citation

Callaghan, R., & Scarre, C. (2017). Biscay and Beyond? Prehistoric voyaging between two Finisterres. Oxford Journal of Archaeology, 36(4), 355-373. https://doi.org/10.1111/ojoa.12119

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Oct 19, 2016
Online Publication Date Oct 2, 2017
Publication Date Nov 1, 2017
Deposit Date Oct 28, 2016
Publicly Available Date Oct 2, 2019
Journal Oxford Journal of Archaeology
Print ISSN 0262-5253
Electronic ISSN 1468-0092
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 36
Issue 4
Pages 355-373
DOI https://doi.org/10.1111/ojoa.12119

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Copyright Statement
This is the accepted version of the following article: Callaghan, Richard & Scarre, Chris (2017). Biscay and Beyond? Prehistoric voyaging between two Finisterres. Oxford Journal of Archaeology 36(4): 355-373, which has been published in final form at https://doi.org/10.1111/ojoa.12119. This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance With Wiley Terms and Conditions for self-archiving.





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