Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Annapolis, Md
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History of sailing!!!???
I don''t think that anyone will ever really know who the sailors were but the Egyptians came pretty late in the process of development of sailing craft. Like the bow and arrow, the technology of sailing shows up as spontaneous inventions in a wide range of civilizations.
For example, on the Mediterranian, the Phoenicians and Minoans were very early sailing and trading civilizations. China was known to have developed very early sailing craft in thier own tradition. The Pacific islands are thought to have been populated by very ancient sailing based civilizations. There are pre-historic findings that suggest that there were sailing craft that were used on remote lakes in the Andes''.
I think that you could do a Doctorial Discertaion on "the history of sailing from the beginning to present day" and only scratch the surface.
While this is a topic with a huge amount of depth to it and a topic in which information is still being developed and brought forth, Probably one of the better ''pop'' histories of sailing was "Men, Ships, and the Sea" written in the 1960''s. That said, I have not looked at a copy of that book in decades but my recollection is that book was a bit ethnocentric and perhaps also does not take advantage of information that has come to light in the 40 years since it was written. The Smithsonian Museum had a curator of watercraft who might be able to assist you.
What kind of degree are you seeking?