We tend to have a stereotyped image that prehistoric people were primitive. More particularly, their activity area was narrower than that of ours today because the seas prevented prehistoric people to move freely between every continent and we tend to think they did not have so high skills for sailing. However, many of the new findings disproving our typical images of prehistoric age these days. In my opinion, prehistoric people could navigate easier and trade more actively than the image that we have had for a long time. There are two main reasons for this. First, prehistoric people had high quality skills to sail to the places which they wanted to go to. Second, they traded a lot of wider variety of goods than we have estimated for a long time.
First, prehistoric people had high quality skills to sail to the exact place where they wanted to go to. According to ancient wisdom (n.d.), in Polynesia, prehistoric people navigated their canoes by many signs of the sky and the ocean. In addition, in Mexico, the magnetic square fragment was found. It was polished, and the age that was used is 1,000 BC, the Olmec age. It seems to be used to serve as a directional finder. So there seems to be no problem for navigation in prehistoric age.
Second, prehistoric people traded much wider variety of goods than we have expected for a long time. According to Manufacturing, (Kosugi Y., Taniguchi Y., Nishida Y., Mizunoe K. and Yano K., 2007, pp. C1, C4) in Japan, archaeologists had estimated prehistoric people traded stone tools including obsidian, but didn’t have considered other goods. However, these days, it is revealed that they traded not only stone tools but also lacquer wares, shellfish products, vermilions, natural asphalts, wooden goods and so on. This is a typical case that we have regarded prehistoric people as not so active to trade, but this time, it also gives us the new image that they traded many goods actively.
In conclusion, prehistoric people moved wider and traded more actively than we have estimated for a long time. We tend to see the prehistoric age’s culture was inferior to what it was in reality because we live in mass production and mass consumption society, so we are paralyzed and now we can no longer think about society which is no benefit of the technology. However, a lot of the latest prehistoric studies show that they lived in a higher cultural level than prejudices that we have had. We had better change our point of view of the prehistoric world. In addition, I want these similar cases to increase so that more people of today will become interested in prehistoric people and feel close to them because they are our ancestors to the core. I think it is good to give more than a passive thought to our distant ancestors.
Ancient Wisdom (n.d.). Navigation. Retrieved 21:50, June 8, 2014, from http://www.ancient-wisdom.co.uk/navigation.htm
小杉康，谷口康浩，西田泰民，水ノ江和同，矢野健一 編, (Kosugi Y., Taniguchi Y., Nishida Y., Mizunoe K. and Yano K. Ed.) ,(2007), 『ものづくり(Manufacturing)』