About this item

Ancient Ocean Crossings paints a compelling picture of impressive pre-Columbian cultures and Old World civilizations that, contrary to many prevailing notions, were not isolated from one another, evolving independently, each in its own hemisphere. Instead, they constituted a "global ecumene," involving a complex pattern of intermittent but numerous and profoundly consequential contacts. In Ancient Ocean Crossings: Reconsidering the Case for Contacts with the Pre-Columbian Americas, Stephen Jett encourages readers to reevaluate the common belief that there was no significant interchange between the chiefdoms and civilizations of Eurasia and Africa and peoples who occupied the alleged terra incognita beyond the great oceans. More than a hundred centuries separate the time that Ice Age hunters are conventionally thought to have crossed a land bridge from Asia into North America and the arrival of Columbus in the Bahamas in 1492.

About the Author

Stephen C. Jett

Stephen C. Jett was born in Cleveland, Ohio, in 1938, grew up in the Cleveland suburb of Shaker Heights, and graduated cum laude in Geology from Princeton University in 1960. He obtained a Ph.D. in Geography from The Johns Hopkins University in 1964. After a year as Instructor of Geography at The Ohio State University, he spent the remainder of his career at the University of California, Davis, serving three terms as Geography Chair; after 1996, he was also Professor of Textiles and Clothing. He retired from the university in 2000 and currently resides with his wife Lisa Roberts Jett, a geographer and a library reference specialist, in Abingdon, Virginia. He founded and edits Pre-Columbiana: A Journal of Long-Distance Contacts.Dr. Jett has two principal writing interests: 1) the culture and history of the Navajo, especially architecture and other material culture, crops and farming, sacred places, and placenames; 2) the effects of pre-1492 transoceanic contacts between the Old and New worlds in spreading human genes, ideas, technologies (such as the blowgun), and domesticates. He has published over 130 articles and book chapters on these topics, and his award-winning books are: "Navajo Wildlands: 'as long as the rivers shall run'"(with photographer Philip Hyde; 1967) and "Navajo Architecture: Forms, History, Distributions" (with Virginia E. Spencer; 1981). Other books include "House of Three Turkeys: Anasazi Redoubt" (with photographer Dave Bohn; 1977) and "Navajo Placenames and Trails of the Canyon de Chelly System, Arizona" (2001). He has traveled globally and is a fellow of the Explorers Club.Professor Jett's interest in tribal textiles has led to his curating significant exhibitions. He is fluent in French and owns houses in Provence; in 2004, he published a high-school-level book on France.

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