Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Ancient Boat People of Northern Europe

By Robert John Langdon

I find it quite amazing that just a stones throw away in geographic terms we find that 'boat people' have been found and are accepted as the oldest civilisations directly after the last ice age.  It is if British archaeologist are out of their 'comfort zone' to study these neighbours of ours to see if there are similarities we can see and incorporate into our own Mesolithic findings.

Here is extract from 'The Full Wiki ': http://www.thefullwiki.org/Nordland

'There is evidence of human settlement in Nordland as far back as 10,500 years ago, about as early as in southern Norway. These Stone age people lived near the coast, often on islands and typically along straits near the open sea, with a rich provision of marine resources. Such archeological evidence has been found on Vega, in Leirfjord and along Saltstraumen. There are at least 15 locations with prehistoric rock carvings in Nordland, from Helgeland in the south to Narvik in the north (see Fosna-Hensbacka culture).'

Mesolithic Boat Drawings found in caves

They lived on coasts and islands and travelled by boat - as you would do in a flooded watery environment.  Consequently, if I'm correct about Prehistoric Britain wouldn't we do the same?

So what areas of Scandinavia were occupied at the end of the Ice Age and is their a relationship to Britain?

The entire civilisation was water based and lived in rivers of on the coasts - yet our archaeologists insist that we lived as 'hunter/gathers on dry land!!  and remember between us and the Scandinavians was not the North Sea but 'Doggerland'

So trading and communication with this civilisation was by following the shallow coast routes to a place we know existed in 9000BC - Star Carr, were we have found a town on the edge of a lake with the first house and 'planks' of wood.

So, have we progressed by 9000BC from reed boats to wooden boats?

Even with all this evidence of boats in Mesolithic Period there will be some that would doubt that these boats could carry the stones that constructed Stonehenge - but look at this cave drawing:

Is the image in the top right a boat carrying a huge stone and is the two upright figures below standing stones??

I only wish that this drawing was from the Cheddar Gouge overlooking the route to Stonehenge - unfortunately for me its not its from Häljesta, Västmanland in Sweden.

But it clearly shows transporting stones on boats was common place in Northern Europe as it was in ancient Egypt in the Mesolithic Period.

Egyptian Hieroglyphics showing stone carrying in 3500BC


(by Robert John Langdon)


  1. Robert,

    I'll take these as being authentic cave paintings of boats! But where are the stones? And what these have to do with Mesolithic Britons and Stonehenge? It's a far stretch to say the least!

    In the Egyptian hieroglyph of a boat the 'box-like' object in the middle of the boat – what you interpret as being a 'stone' – could in all likelihood be the 'bridge' of the boat! Notice that above it stands the 'pilot' of the boat with hands holding the long rudder oar of the boat that gives the boat direction of motion.

    You could argue that the 'pilot' of the boat is standing on top of a huge stone. But are you then suggesting that every boat was carrying such huge stone so that there is a place for the pilot to stand and reach the rudder of the boat? How dumb in an otherwise clever design of an impressive boat!

    When you are looking for 'stones' you will likely find 'stones'! But when you are looking for Truth, you will likely find Truth!


  2. Kosta

    Search Google and you'll get confirmation.

    If you read the post again carefully you will see i'm making a connection to these people and Stonehenge - why? because this is the same culture that's why long barrows are in 9 countries - in Mesolithic times this was ONE country and ONE culture.

    As for the debate about stones in Egyptian times again Google it!! I believe that there are so many hieroglyphs and associated writings about taking Stones to the many many monuments down the Nile by boat, that its a futile argument.

    If you wont to believe the pyramids were built by UFO's fine with me! But the other sites down the Nile were made by man and they used boats to take the stones to the site because you can't drag stones over sand!! and if you could and you have boats available your deranged!!


  3. Robert,

    You have conveniently ignored my observation that what is depicted in the Egyptian hieroglyph is not a huge stone, but the 'bridge' of the boat with the 'pilot' standing on it with hands on the rudder!

    You advice to “check Google”! Checking Google is how I found your site! And how absurd is that!

    As for the building of the Egyptian pyramids. It wasn't UFOs, but Mesolithic Brits that came sailing all the way from Stonehenge to show the Egyptians 5000 years later how to carry stones on reed boats and build the pyramids! Not only did this SuperRace of Brits knew how to built pyramids, but had also mastered the mysteries of time-travel! Now a lost science!


  4. Its a man sitting on a stone - what planet are you on costa?

    Or its a bridge for midgets??


  5. Gentlemen!

    It really doesn't matter if it is or isn't a stone or bridge.

    The principle is that boats have been used in ancient times to move stones for temples and monuments therefore, logically, we can assume if we accept boats existed in Northern Europe in Mesolithic and Neolithic times the likelihood is that they would be used to move stones to the site as in Egypt and other Mediterranean countries.


  6. Prisoner Number Sic:

    There you go again, questioning the color of my skin and the size of my torso!

    Robert, the color of your logic …

    1) Ancient Egyptians used boats to carry stones
    2) Ancient Scandinavians had boats
    3) Therefore Stonehenge was build by Mesolithic Brits carrying big stones on reed boats in an inundated Salisbury Plain using harbors that operated 24/7 !

    … is green!


  7. Kostas

    Clearly, you are still sceptical about boats at Stonehenge due to its location?

    I'm glad your happy to now accept that in the Mesolithic Period to the east of Stonehenge(just four boats days away)is a boat culture.

    Now to the west of Stonehenge (about 2 days way)is Ireland with its Stone Mesolithic Structures (with chambers and cave drawings, so man made). The question you need to ask yourself is 'So how did the people get to Ireland directly after the last Ice Age'?

    The land was cut off (from walking) and there is no archaeological evidence of anyone living there prior to the ice age. The mini ice ages where not cold enough to freeze the Irish sea as a land bridge - yet we know that people were living in Ireland in 8000BC through carbon dating!

    As also we see from archaeological evidence they share a common language and traditions later on in the Neolithic Period so historians are happy to conclude that they must have communicated these by boat (although no one asks when did they start boating across the Irish sea!).

    So following your 'Logic' ..

    1) Ancient Egyptians used boats to carry stones
    2) Scandinavians had boats to the east of Stonehenge
    3) The Welsh and Irish had boats to the West of Stonehenge
    4) As this was one civilisation, boats would have existed at Stonehenge to carry the stones
    5) Robert Langdon has 40 pieces of 'scientific evidence' to support his hypothesis and does not need to play a inconsequential logic word game to prove his case.


  8. Robert,

    It's a rhetorical device to pretend your opponent agrees with you when they don't agree with you!

    Without going into detail (what you don't want to honestly discuss) let me just close by saying that I find you logic very green and your evidence mytho-logical.


  9. So what makes you think that this was just one civilsation?

    Bob Davis

  10. Good point Bob.

    Although it can't be proven beyond any doubt we know that both Ireland and Norway (as well as Denmark, Germany and Belgium) all have distinctive 'Long Barrows' - as we have already shown in past blogs these 'sign posts' were for boats to navigate the waterways during Mesolithic Period.

    The chances of ALL these countries developing a unified system of navigation for boats without being the same civilisation is small. Remembering that the concept of counties and tribes take thousands of years of isolation to develop with a common language and belief system - these people would have migrated as one directly after the ice age to northern Europe when the ice had receded.

    Therefore, I think we are safe to believe that these people had a common language and culture as well, which allowed them to work together in a common goal.

    Otherwise this maybe the first kind of prehistoric European Economic Community (EEC);-)


  11. Bob,

    Robert can look in his 'crystal ball' to see into the far past what's not to be seen by any evidence in History. It's called 'wishful thinking'.


  12. Finally!!

    Just for those who believe that building a reed boat was beyond Mesolithic man and something of science fiction take a look at this youtube video showing a man making a small floating boat from reed or plants in Lake Awasa, in Awasa Ethiopia.


    You can make a boat and go fishing with a net within a day! Why would you try hunting down a dangerous animal when you can fish so easy?

    And if hunter/gathering is so superior, why are these people still making boats and fishing in the 21st century??


  13. Are we talking about 'going fishing' or 'getting stoned”?

  14. Oh dear
    Calm down boys
    The guys who replicated the half size neolithic wooden Ferriby boat are making a full size one and I am assured by them that a typical size Bluestone would easily be sailed from Milford Haven up the Avon to Stonehenge.
    try Googling Ferriby boat and neolithic Dover boat

  15. Colin

    The Ferriby Boat is of great interest as it dates to the current Stonehenge construction date 2500BC.

    Unfortunately, apart from the fact that boats existed in the Late Neolithic, I will need to show that boats were around some 5,000 years earlier if my hypothesis is to be accepted.

    Hence the boat found in the solent dated 6500BC is of more interest as it is older and has superior construction to the Ferriby boat.


  16. How is a narrow logboat of superior construction to the intricate woodwork of a Ferriby boat? Very strange logic in use. Because someone could doesn't mean they did else we would have had Roman Imperial Railways with SPQR on the front of the engines.

  17. Edwin

    With the remains of log boats the Solent team found 10m (their estimation) planks of wood. These would have made ships of superior size to the Ferriby, in fact that sized plank would be used to make most tutor ships.

    The size and shape of the boats can be seen in Long Barrows, which replicated the design of the ships they used - both the Tutor war ships and the Long Barrow blueprint is far superior to the Ferriby - small boat.

    The fact that planks existed and boats were used in trading in the Mesolithic, with the design of these boats on the hillside of most northern European countries were this single civilisation existed, is sufficient evidence of the boats existence - as when we find pictures on Egyptian walls, we need not have found the exact artefact but we are assured that enough evidence for it to be 'rationally plausible'.


  18. But the long barrows are Neolithic in date. I have no problem with the use of planks in the Mesolithic just don't see why it needs to be presented as a competition between earliest and more recent rather than a relatively smooth progression.

    Or, are you implying a state of stasis or even retrogression in things like boat building? I would rather be pragmatic and assume that people did what they needed with what they had and could envision with progress and development of local technique with some input from elsewhere. Have you read TC Lethbridge "Boats and Boatmen"?

    1. Edwin

      Archaeologists 'believe' that Long Barrows are Neolithic - the evidence is 'limited' - for example the Long Barrow at Michaels mount at Carnac in France has carbon dating at the ground level in the centre of the structure which is dated at 6200BCE to 6400BCE.

      I have not read 'Boats and Boatmen' although I do support his ideals that our civilisation was influenced by the waters that surround our country in the past.

      This web site which is dedicated to my trilogy that shows an advanced Civilisation (as in boat building and tools - not UFO's) existed at the end of the last ice age.

      This technology was lost by the start of the Neolithic (as they sailed to other countries or became farmers) and this is shown in the design of monuments as Stonehenge, which my book proves was constructed Phase I in 8500BCE and remodelled in 4300BCE with the Sarsens you see today. We saw the same retrogressive 'blip' in History after the Roman civilisation left Britain which took a 1000 years and another invasion to redress, in the form of boat building.

      We have found evidence of early travel - such as my present blog showing that this advanced civilisation, that has been identified as 'Cro-Magnons' by anthropologists in fact travelled to America, as we have found their skeletons, about the same time as Stonehenge I was being built.

      These boats were initially made of reed, as we have found pictures of them on the caves in the Caspian region were the Cro-magnons originated, before migrating to France and then Doggerland. The interesting fact is that planks of wood have now been found in the Solent and wood splitting was a known technique in Star Carr 3,000 years earlier.

      This shows that this civilisation could have built boats like both the Romans or medieval Europeans in 6000BCE.


  19. Boat-building did not regress after the Romans. Trade across the Channel and North sea continued. Alfred, for example, built bigger and possibly better inshore warships. The Hulc and the Cog were both products of the Dark Ages. What was probably true was that the boats built in Britain were better adapted to our conditions than some of the crank Mediterranean vessels used by the Romans and the "Celtic" style of building with carvel planking on very heavy timbers never stopped.

  20. Edwin

    The hulk and Cog's are just canal boats.

    The Roman boats (galleys) had greater 'frequency and distance' use than the boats of the dark ages. Britain did not enjoy the 'trading routes' seen in Roman times until after the 15th century 'Galleons' - this is a reflection in the psyche of the society as well as the building knowledge.

    Prior to the Romans the Cro-Magnon's used similar sized 'sea fairing' boats (see - http://robertjohnl angdon.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/advanced-civilisation-or-just-lost.html) to travel to north America, which again was not duplicated until the 15th C.


  21. It is utter nonsense to call Hulcs and Cogs just canal boats. They were the prime means of seaborne transportation throuout the period. If there were no trading routes then presumably the fleets of wool merchants coming every year to England to buy the wool clip were figments of the King's Customs imagination. And let us then also ignore the accounts of voyages by English people. wasn't Alfred criticised for laying the burden of Thanehood of a merchant who had made three overseas voyages in his own vessel?

    Your logic is faulty. I accept that it was perfectly possible for people in the Mesolithic period to have built boats or even ships, if they perceived a need for them, but this does not mean in any way that this boat building ability or desire declined in subsequent millenia. On the contrary, we see continuous development.

  22. Edwin

    Halc and Cog are 'Medieval boats' not Dark Age boats - If you are correct in your analysis, show me the boats built during the Dark Ages 400 - 1000AD.

    The fact that galleys were used in Britain in the Roman period up to 400AD and the Hulc and Cogs were around some 600 years later in the 10th and 12th Century - this does not show any form of 'continuous development' as they were smaller.

    see: http://maritime-history-one.webs.com/thedarkages.htm

    Moreover, the simple fact that reed boats can achieve 'transatlantic' travel in the Mesolithic (as shown with Cro-Magnon remains) which was not achieved again until the Vikings some 6,000 years later, again clearly shows that ship building techniques was not 'continuatous'(which includes even the Roman ships).


  23. But that reference gives the date of a Hulc as 800 AD which is in the Dark Ages by my reckoning. Then there is the Graveney boat, see the Clifford's half-size reproduction and their scaled down version of the Sutton Hoo Ship. the precursors of the Cog are vessels like the Blackfriars and the Bruges boats. These last two also show the "Celtic" boat-building techniques of the Veniti were developing and going strong.

    But all this is irrelevant anyway to any discussion of the abilities of Mesolithic peoples. Just what is the point you are trying to make?

  24. Sorry should also have said that you neglect the ocean ranging abilities of Irish Monks in currachs as well

  25. Edwin

    I am looking at the 'ascent of man' in relation to the ship building and trading of civilisations in history.

    We now know that the palaeolithic/Mesolithic civilisations in northern Europe travelled not only to the Mediterranean by to America - this feat was only replicated in Viking times 8,000 years later and then again in the Medieval some 800 years after that date.

    This 'regression' is seen in history in many aspects and proves that civilisations don't grow in the linear way current historians/archaeologists suggest.

    The 'dark ages' was a simple example I used to show this regression in our history. You seem to believe that after the Roman exit from Britain the technology to build long distance boats continued - this analysis I fundamentally disagree with.

    I accept boats were still built but the social and economic of the dark ages shows that they were used for local trading across the Channel and North Sea.

    Its like the present day space development - we reached the Moon in the 60's fifty years on we may have more advanced technology, but we are not using it because of economics, so is the space shuttle advancing space exploration, some would say yes, I would say no!

    Not until we go back to the Moon can we claim parity with the 60's, but moreover, not until we reach Mars with a manned spacecraft can we declare that we have progressed in space development - in my view this is yet another example of historical regression.


  26. the applications of space science progresses all the time there is no retrogression/ Physical manifestations of long distance space travel by humans may not be happening at the moments but the science to enable them is progressing.

    by the Dark Ages there was the technology and information available to build you any sort of boat you wanted for any maritime function. Sewn planks fell out of use because iron for nails and rivets became more available.

    1. Edwin

      The lack of progress in our society in the 'conquest of space' I think is a good analogy. We have the technology but not the political or ideological will to expand our minds and experience.

      This is exactly what we see in sea history.

      The Cro-mangons were first to use boats as we see from the drawings on the Caspian sea - these boats were made of reed and they used them to conquer the world as their mindset was unique. Later even with the introduction of planked wood as seen at Star Carr and the boat planks in the solvent - although the technology grew, the spirit of adventure diminished.

      The Roman were the next to bring 'international' nautical travel back to the society, but even this civilisation failed to find America - which give us a insight to their mindset and the limitations of how money influences society and progress.

      The next group of 'adventures' were the 'Vikings' or Virtual Kings - these were the ancestors of the Atlanteans - big blonde blue eyed and fearless, they re-enacted the mythology of their forbearers and found America again.

      Then there was yet another period of political and economical 'down turn' until Columbus was funded to find new lands - but most importantly, new money... the rest is history as they say!

      We reached the moon not by 'technology' but by political will of JFK - once the dream was over, it could not be financed. The next endeavour will be achieved when the money men will it, not when technology allows it!!

      As a historian the most interesting aspect about the Cro-Magnons/Atlanteans has written by Plato who suggests that these me rejected wealth and possessions and lived a 'virtual' life. Which is (I believe) the reason that they were able to reach america first.


  27. Thought of giving a reasoned reply but your theory and exposition are just twaddle. Bye

    1. Twaddle is when you fail to understand the influences of economics/ideology over technology.

      MOST of the greatest discoveries in history have not effected society, not because they did not work, it was the will for them to be built and used.

      You may feel the technology was available - but what use is it if it was not used?