In the Wake of the Jomon: Stone Age Mariners and a Voyage Across the Pacific

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9780071449021: In the Wake of the Jomon: Stone Age Mariners and a Voyage Across the Pacific

'I couldn't go back in time, but I could tether myself to these brothers and sisters of the sea. The Jomon mariners built no cathedrals with lofty buttresses and sweeping arches. They left their journey as a legacy - wispy, ephemeral, blurred in the fog of time. I wanted to share the vibrations of that journey, to better understand my ancestors - and yes, myself' - Jon. In 1996, anthropologists were stunned by an extraordinary discovery near Kennewick, Washington. Skeletal remains found along the muddy banks of the Columbia River - and radiocarbon dated to between 9,300 and 9,600 years ago - were highly similar to those of the ancient Jomon people of northern Japan. Not only did this finding challenge conventional wisdom about the first Americans, it also raised a seemingly unanswerable question: Could prehistoric mariners have reached North America by crossing thousands of miles of the tempestuous North Pacific in small open boats? A few years later, Jon Turk set out to prove they could have. In this remarkable narrative, adventurer and science writer Turk relates his two-year, 3,000-mile small-boat expedition to trace the probable route of the Jomon from northern Japan to the coast of Alaska by way of Siberia. Along the way, he introduces strong archaeological and anthropological evidence that he was not the first to follow this route. Paddling their tiny craft along the rugged Siberian coastline, Turk's small party visits remote villages whose inhabitants wrest subsistence livings from stingy soil and frigid, treacherous waters. Turk's descriptions of these hardy individualists - as tough and self-reliant as the Jomon voyagers must have been - offer a rare glimpse of the struggle to survive in one of our planet's most unforgiving environments. Featuring sharply drawn encounters with the denizens of Siberia - both human and animal - and frightening near-disasters at sea, and graced by Turk's deep insights into humankind's relentless drive to explore new frontiers, "In the Wake of the Jomon" is the boldest and most thought-provoking sea adventure since Kon-Tiki.

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About the Author:

Jon Turk, author of Cold Oceans: Adventures in Kayak, Rowboat, and Dogsled, is a scientist and textbook author by vocation. He has paddled around Cape Horn, across the Northwest Passage, and in high-latitude oceans around the world.

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Book Description Intl Marine Pub, Camden, Maine, U.S.A., 2005. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Jon Turk relates his two-year, 3000 mile small boat expedition to trace the probable route from northern Japan to the coast of Alask by way of Siberia of prehistoric humans. A fascinating 287 page read. Bookseller Inventory # 048043

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