Article ID: CBB001422600

Drift Voyages across the Mid-Atlantic (2015)


Pre-Columbian transoceanic contacts have long been controversial. The controversy stems from the fact that those supporting arguments for such crossings have often not evaluated the evidence as critically as was necessary. On the other hand, those dismissing these arguments have frequently ignored the inevitability of such events over long periods of time. One aspect of these debates that is seldom evaluated is the likelihood of vessels, with or without survivors, or floating artefacts, crossing oceans. As an example, a recent debate (Hristov & Genovés 1999, 2011; Shaaf & Wagner 1999; Smith 2011) centred on the head of a Roman figurine purportedly discovered in a pre-Columbian context at the site of Tecaxic-Calixtlahuaca in Mexico. Neither argument for or against the veracity of the pre-Columbian context of the artefact discusses how likely drift events are across the mid-Atlantic.


Description On the likelihood of object, vessels, and people drifting across the Atlantic in pre-Columbian times.

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Authors & Contributors
Lesch, John E.
Joyce, Rosemary
Obregon, Mauricio
Dyson, Stephen L.
McVicker, Donald
Murphy, Kathleen S.
Bulletin of the History of Archaeology
Early American Studies
History and Anthropology
Journal for Maritime Research: Britian, the Sea and Global History
Journal of Global History
Yale University Press
Random House
Rowman & Littlefield
Oxford University Press
Sea travel
Travel; exploration
Cross-cultural interaction; cultural influence
Ships and shipbuilding
Zheng, He
Lysons, Samuel
Time Periods
19th century
18th century
Early modern
20th century, early
20th century
Rome (Italy)
Great Britain
Middle and Near East
United States
Bureau of American Ethnology (Smithsonian Institution)
Davenport Academy of Natural Sciences (Iowa, U.S.)
British Museum
Biblioteca Nacional de Portugal

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