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#1
geomancer

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Which country was the last one reached by humans? I mean a recognized sovereign state, not Antarctica or some flyspeck island. Because of its relatively recent discovery, it has no prehistoric artifacts, no human fossils, and in fact no human prehistory whatsoever.

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Strebe

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Which country was the last one reached by humans? I mean a recognized sovereign state, not Antarctica or some flyspeck island. Because of its relatively recent discovery, it has no prehistoric artifacts, no human fossils, and in fact no human prehistory whatsoever.


Iceland.

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#3
geomancer

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Which country was the last one reached by humans? I mean a recognized sovereign state, not Antarctica or some flyspeck island. Because of its relatively recent discovery, it has no prehistoric artifacts, no human fossils, and in fact no human prehistory whatsoever.


Iceland.

Regards,
— daan Strebe


Iceland is close, but it was discovered over 1000 years ago. And technically, it had some prehistory: according to the sagas, when the Vikings arrived they found some bells and crosiers left by Irish monks.

What about a country discovered only a few centuries ago?

#4
Hans van der Maarel

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What about a country discovered only a few centuries ago?


Mauritius?
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#5
Dale Sanderson

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Some would say New Zealand. There are a few small islands that weren't reached until after N.Z., but your question seems to disqualify those.
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#6
Michael Schmeling

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I think it would be New Zealand. It was discovered by Polynesians somewhat between 1280 and 1350.
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#7
Hans van der Maarel

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I think it would be New Zealand. It was discovered by Polynesians somewhat between 1280 and 1350.


Ah, but Mauritius wasn't discovered by Arab sailors until at least the mid 1400s from what I've gathered.
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#8
Michael Schmeling

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The german Wikipedia thinks that the Arabs discovered Mauritius in the 10. century. But what do I know? I wasn't there at that time... :lol:
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#9
Hans van der Maarel

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The german Wikipedia thinks that the Arabs discovered Mauritius in the 10. century. But what do I know? I wasn't there at that time... :lol:


Okay, the English one didn't say anything other than "during the middle ages", which is a bit vague. Anyway, if it's indeed the 10th century that would put New Zealand ahead of Mauritius.
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#10
geomancer

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What about a country discovered only a few centuries ago?


Mauritius?


I believe Mauritius is correct! These three countries have no evidence of human habitation or visitation before the 15th century:

1. Mauritius: Discovered ca. 1500, first settled 1638.
2. São Tomé and Príncipe: Discovered ca. 1470, first settled 1493.
3. Cape Verde: Discovered ca. 1456, first settled 1462.

#11
Strebe

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I believe Mauritius is correct! These three countries have no evidence of human habitation or visitation before the 15th century:

1. Mauritius: Discovered ca. 1500, first settled 1638.
2. São Tomé and Príncipe: Discovered ca. 1470, first settled 1493.
3. Cape Verde: Discovered ca. 1456, first settled 1462.


To refine your question if you use it again, you might consider putting a lower bound on the area of the country. I was not sure whether Mauritius was a “flyspeck” or not, or even the Cape Verdes in total.

Also, here’s how I think about the “prehistory” stipulation: If someone were to discover the remains of an unrecorded Russian settlement in Washington State dating from the 18th century, we would not consider it to be “prehistoric” because the Russian culture (if not the masses) was literate. Same for the Irish monks who might have spent time on Iceland. Likewise, if a Phoenician ruin were to be discovered on Cape Verde Islands, presumably we would not consider the ruin to be prehistoric?

Anyway, interesting question, one I hadn’t considered before.

Regards,
— daan Strebe

#12
geomancer

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I believe Mauritius is correct! These three countries have no evidence of human habitation or visitation before the 15th century:

1. Mauritius: Discovered ca. 1500, first settled 1638.
2. São Tomé and Príncipe: Discovered ca. 1470, first settled 1493.
3. Cape Verde: Discovered ca. 1456, first settled 1462.


To refine your question if you use it again, you might consider putting a lower bound on the area of the country. I was not sure whether Mauritius was a “flyspeck” or not, or even the Cape Verdes in total.

Also, here’s how I think about the “prehistory” stipulation: If someone were to discover the remains of an unrecorded Russian settlement in Washington State dating from the 18th century, we would not consider it to be “prehistoric” because the Russian culture (if not the masses) was literate. Same for the Irish monks who might have spent time on Iceland. Likewise, if a Phoenician ruin were to be discovered on Cape Verde Islands, presumably we would not consider the ruin to be prehistoric?

Anyway, interesting question, one I hadn’t considered before.

Regards,
— daan Strebe


Good points. I meant to contrast independent countries with "flyspeck islands," but I suppose some would call Nauru and Tuvalu (if not Mauritius) "flyspeck island countries."

And I'll have to check on the common definition of "prehistoric" if I ask the question again.




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