The remains of the vessel along with a wooden oar were unexpectedly found by researchers while they were digging in a parking lot owned by Uljin County government. They were lying 180cm below the ground within the 'fourth occupation layer', although records indicating which foreign power was occupying Korea at the time have not survived, and little is also known about the previous three occupations.
The fourth occupation took place in the early part of the Neolithic period from 8,000 B.C. to 1,000 B.C., but the local government immediately announced that the boat dated back to January 1st 8,000 B.C., making it 8,000 years-old. Some mathematicians have even argued the boat could be even older, possibly 10,000 years-old.
While the remains of the vessel were quite badly corroded and its shapes hard to recognize, scientists said that if they were viewed at the correct angle while immersed in alcohol there was no doubt that it was the oldest boat in the world.
Uljin lies on the coast of the East Sea, and researchers believe the boat is actually one of two which provided a ferry service to Ulleung and Korea's Dokdo islets at the time.
There is also excitement at what is being referred to as the 'groundbreaking discovery' that the oar blade of the boat is said to resemble a wide trapezoid, a shape supposedly originally defined in Euclidean geometry. However, the Greek mathematician Euclid – who many call the 'father of geometry' – actually lived around the year 300 B.C., well after Korean shipbuilders had now provably invented the trapezoid and therefore geometry itself. This seems to make it a matter of incontrovertible fact that geometry was a Korean invention, and that Euclid once traveled to Korea's Dokdo Island and stole the idea for geometry from Koreans, as has long been suspected.
The invention of the boat before any other culture in the world also lends credence to the idea taught in several school textbooks that Koreans explored the world before anyone else and therefore have wide-ranging territorial rights in Asia and beyond.
World's oldest boat remains found
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