23 March 2018

How ancient Greeks COULD have sailed to Canada

There's no proof that they did, but there is a way they could have bypassed the problem of the easterly Gulf Stream current.
Now a team of Greek scholars proposes another—and much earlier—wave of European migration: the Hellenistic Greeks, in triremes powered by sail and oar in the first century CE, nearly a millennium before the Vikings. These ancient Greeks regularly visited what is now Newfoundland, the study’s authors say. They set up colonies that lasted centuries, and they mined gold...

The idea is based entirely on a new examination of a dialogue written by the influential Roman author Plutarch, who lived from 46 to 119 CE. “Our intention is to prove, with modern science, that it was possible for this trip to be made,” Ioannis Liritzis, an archaeologist at the University of the Aegean who proposed that the ancient journeys took place...

For instance, Plutarch wrote that the “great continent” lies beyond the isle of Ogygia, which, according to the text, is itself a five-day trip by trireme west from Britain. Plutarch also wrote that the Greek settlers accessed the “great continent” through a bay that lines up with the Volga River delta, the northern entrance to the Caspian Sea. Using Google Earth, Liritzis drew a line from this location across the Atlantic, and found it led to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence...

Other archaeologists say the occurrence of such a voyage is implausible—though not necessarily impossible.
The source article is at Hakai magazine.


  1. it's like kon-tiki - possible to do, but maybe not likely?


  2. A critique of the claim: http://www.jasoncolavito.com/blog/greek-scientists-claim-plutarch-recorded-ancient-greek-voyages-to-canadian-colony

    1. If the Greeks had made it to Canada, then poutine would have been a Greek food.

  3. It would've been a much shorter trip if those Greeks hadn't used Mercator projection. ;)


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