Archaeology: Palaeolithic sea trip to Japanese islands beyond the horizon

Modern human beings might have intentionally crossed the sea to move to the Ryukyu Islands of southwestern Japan, despite the fact that the islands would not have actually shown up on the horizon when they set out, according to a research study released Scientific Reports

People are believed to have actually moved throughout the sea to the Ryukyu Islands from eastern Taiwan, throughout the Palaeolithic duration (35,000-30,000 years ago). Nevertheless, it has actually been uncertain whether this sea crossing taken place by unexpected drift with the Kuroshio Current, which streams from Luzon, Philippines past Taiwan and Japan, or purposeful boat trips.

To identify the probability of human beings reaching the Ryukyu Islands by means of unexpected drift with the Kuroshio Current, Yousuke Kaifu and associates studied the trajectories of 138 satellite-tracked buoys, which wandered past Taiwan or northeastern Luzon in between 1989 and 2017. Of the 122 buoys that wandered past Taiwan 114 were brought northward by the Kuroshio and, of these, 3 came within 20 kilometres of the main and south Ryukyu Islands under unfavorable climate condition. Of the 16 buoys that wandered previous Luzon, 13 wandered with the Kuroshio however just one moved towards the Ryukyu Islands due to a hurricane. As the circulation of the Kuroshio Current is believed to have actually stayed the same throughout the previous 100,000 years, the outcomes show that human beings in wandering boats were not likely to reach the islands by means of unexpected drift with the Kuroshio Current. The findings recommend that human beings intentionally crossed among the world’s greatest currents in order to move to the Ryukyu Islands around 35,000 years back.

As the closest of the Ryukyu Islands to eastern Taiwan, Yonaguni Island, is just sometimes noticeable from Taiwan’s seaside mountains, human beings might have browsed towards islands that were just noticeable throughout the latter part of their journey, according to the authors.


Short article information

Palaeolithic trip for unnoticeable islands beyond the horizon


10.1038/ s41598-020-76831-7

Corresponding Author:

Yousuke Kaifu .
University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan .

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