Bob Keeter (
8 Oct 1996 03:51:42 GMT (Gerold Firl) wrote:
>Actually, there have been a couple of "ape" species present in the
>Sahul (?) prior to the appearance of h. sap. sap; homo erectus and
>archaic h. sapiens. The only question is, did they manage to get across
>the straits to australia? If pre-100,000 bp dates are correct, then it
>appears that they did.
More paleontology than anthropology, but the reason that the marsupials
held reign in Austrailia was that land mammals from Asia were largely
cut off for a very long time; far longer than there were any humans
or primates in Asia.

>Has australia always been surrounded by water? Have any of the
>glaciation events brought sea levels low enough to allow an easy
>crossing? H. erectus has been in java for a long time; say, about a
>million years. If they could get to java, australia doesn't seem out of
>the question.
There is lots of DEEP blue water between Austrailia and the islands of
the south pacific. While there easily may have been even dry land
crossings to many of the big islands, there was no Austrailian
"Berengia" that I know of. I think that the real answer is the
obvious one that very few really like. H. Erectus needed boats
or sea-going rafts AND a _MARITIME CULTURE_ to get to Austrailia
if in fact he made it! Unless our ancestors were considerably more
stupid than I would suppose, he would not have headed out across
a couple of hundred miles of blue water unless he knew there was
something out there. While a storm may have blown a coastal
fisherman across on the rare occasion, to move enough population
across to actually settle the land would have required intentional,
planned voyages, hence the maritime culture.

(Unless you happen to be one of the
UFO abduction devotees!) Hehehehe!