History of Oceanography

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Oceanography, the study of the ocean, was first studied in pre-historic times out of curiosity about the regions underneath the ocean surface as well as waves, the rise and fall of the tides, and other coastal processes. The word oceanography is a compound of two Greek words meaning ‘ocean’ and meaning “to write’. The Phoenicians, Greeks, and Romans were in fact our first oceanographers. In 7250 B.C. the first recorded sea voyage took place in the Aegean. There is evidence of sea trading between the Greek mainland and the Aegean island of Melos. In 4000 B.C. Egyptians developed the arts of shipbuilding and ocean piloting. Egyptians developed the sailing vessels, which were probably used only in the eastern Mediterranean near Nile River. By 4500 B.C the oldest known map was created, it was made on clay by the Babylonians. Around 4000-2000 B.C. Polynesians traveled extensively in the Western and Southern Pacific settling in many islands in that region. By 2000 B.C. the Phoenicians were already navigating the oceans but staying close to the shores because they didn’t know what to predict. Phoenicians made sea maps from around 1200 B.C. they were said to be the greatest sailors, premier shipbuilders, and traders of the time. Early History

Phoenicians were the “Navigators of the Seas”; they navigated and traded around the Mediterranean Sea, Indian Ocean, and Africa in 2000 B.C. Phoenicia was an ancient Semitic Canaanite civilization that lies in present day Palestine and Syria. The Phoenicians were famous for cedar ships, the alphabet, and purple cloth. The Phoenician alphabet was developed during the 15th century B.C. The word “Phoenicia” means land of palms in Greek. The Phoenicians were actually the first people who could navigate the seas well and whose civilization was based on sea life because they were a merchant civilization. The Greeks learned many things from the Phoenicians such as how to navigate by the North Star and basic ideas for ship...
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