Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans
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Beyond the Blue Horizon: How the Earliest Mariners Unlocked the Secrets of the Oceans

3.27 of 5 stars 3.27  ·  rating details  ·  62 ratings  ·  11 reviews
In Beyond the Blue Horizon, archaeologist and historian Brian Fagan tackles his richest topic yet: the enduring quest to master the oceans, the planet's most mysterious terrain. We know the tales of Columbus and Captain Cook, yet much earlier mariners made equally bold and world-changing voyages. From the moment when ancient Polynesians first dared to sail beyond the horiz...more
Paperback, 336 pages
Published July 23rd 2013 by Bloomsbury Press (first published March 14th 2004)
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Joe White
This is a rather fast breezy overview, covering some aspects of cultures and trading, based in specific regions of the world where archaeological and historical research has been performed. The regions included:

The Pacific, specifically from Malaysia to across New Guinea to most of the Polynesian islands;

The Aegean Sea, with mention of some of the Eastern Mediterranean trade routes and societies;

The East coast of Africa and the Middle East to India over the Arabian Sea and close in Indian Ocea...more
Steven
I like books about the history of ocean exploration in general, which is why I gave this a go. It was really quite god, although it went more into the types of boats used, their construction, and how they were sailed than I expected. This wasn't a bad thing, but not something I gathered from the title.

The book is broken down into group of chapters having to do with ocean-going in various geographic areas, the peoples involved, and how ideas about sailing developed in those places. He covers sout...more
Kathryn
This was a good non-fiction book about how and why the earliest men (and women) in various areas of the globe first took to the sea; I can’t say it was a great book, because it is very long on speculation and the author’s personal sailing experience and short on real information.

In order, the author considers the birth of seamanship in the Far East, Greece, the Indian Ocean, Scandinavia, and a chapter covering both the lower Canadian / United States west coast and the Yucatán Peninsula. The auth...more
Margaret Sankey
Fagan combines his personal expertise as a lifetime sailor with archaeological materials to explore the maritime civilizations as they took the breathtaking leap from coastal waters into the great unknown. For each, he examines how their culture, their available materials and their particular body of water combined to produce a unique seafaring expertise and relationship with the waves, turning up such gems as the importance of memorized landmarks in the Iliad, the effect of the regular rhythms...more
Brandon
Cool look into the worldview of the first mariners, but rather rambly. Didn't make it past the second chapter.
Christina Dudley
A comprehensive book about how different cultures from prehistory until mostly the Renaissance, viewed the seas and navigated them. Depending on which cultures interested you the most, the book could range from fascinating to a little dry, and Fagan must rely on much informed speculation. I liked when he inserted anecdotal history and brought things to life, since I lean more toward the KON-TIKI, nitty-gritty, here's-exactly-what-it-was-like school of adventure writing.
Ron
A brief look at the beginning of sea exploration in southern Pacific, Mediterranean, North Atlantic region and Pacific Northwest (Alaska to California). Due to lack of evidence, based on number of conjectures, but mildly interesting.
Alexandra
Very interesting read from my history of archaeology class. I learned a lot about archaeology and antiquity from reading this book. Some parts were drier than others, but other parts seemed straight out of an Indiana Jones film.
Matthew
Another of my boat books. He gives a good overview of sailors from around the world.
Steven Price
A little difficult to follow the general run of the story. Not the best.
Lili
i enjoy everything written by B Fagan. this book was esspeccially good
Kristen
Where on earth did I put this book?
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Brian Murray Fagan is an author of popular archaeology books and emeritus professor of Anthropology at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Prof. Fagan is an archaeological generalist, with expertise in the broad issues of human prehistory. He is the author or editor of 46 books, including seven widely used undergraduate college texts.

Additional information at Wikipedia.
More about Brian M. Fagan...
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850 Cro-Magnon: How the Ice Age Gave Birth to the First Modern Humans The Long Summer: How Climate Changed Civilization The Great Warming: Climate Change and the Rise and Fall of Civilizations Archaeology: A Brief Introduction

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