When did exploration begin and who were the first explorers? ‘The peopling of the earth ’ shows that the deep origins of exploration are inseparable from the long process of the peopling of the earth that began between one and two million years ago, with the migration of Homo erectus out of the East Africa rift valleys. It considers the Polynesian seafaring people whose remarkable exploratory oceanic migration resulted in settlements and cultural exchange around and across the Pacific Ocean. The maritime exploration of the Norse reached Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland. The global circle of humanity closed, and the first of history's two big stories, that of human divergence, ended, and the second, that of human convergence, began.