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600-year-old canoe found in New Zealand linked to Polynesian sailors
600-year-old canoe found in New Zealand linked to Polynesian sailors

Centuries before Captain Cook explored the South Pacific, Polynesian seafarers in canoes crossed vast swaths of water to colonize lonely islands from Samoa and New Zealand all the way to Hawaii. But how they managed such a daring feat remains something of a mystery. Now, a roughly 600-year-old canoe discovered in New Zealand may shed some light on the Polynesians’ sailing technology. The vessel, described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is one of just two canoes dating back to such an early time period. A second paper in the same journal finds that shifting ancient wind patterns may have created ideal windows of opportunity for certain generations of sailing...

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