As soon as humans took to the water, they needed a means of holding their boats in position. The pull of the tide, the flow of a river, or the push of the wind all threatened to carry them toward danger. The very first anchors likely were developed by early fishermen looking to keep their boats above a promising location. These probably consisted of a simple weight, perhaps a large stone or a basket of rocks, attached to a line, and this template influenced the earliest known anchors.
By Philip K. Allan, author, Sea of Wolves