Who Invented the First Boat?
The first boats are believed to have been built by the prehistoric hominid species, Homo erectus. The oldest boat to be recovered archaeologically is the Pesse dugout canoe from Holland dated to approximately 8,000 B.C.
Homo erectus first appeared in Africa around 1.8 million years ago and was skilled with stone tools and weaponry. Before their decline almost 1.5 million years later, erectus managed to move out of Africa to other equatorial parts of the world. Tools belonging to Homo erectus were discovered on the Indonesian island of Flores and dated to approximately 800,000 years ago. Given the position of Flores during that time frame, archaeologists have determined that erectus must have used boats to travel there.