Ancient fishing hooks

ancient fishingArchaeologists have discovered the oldest to date the age of fish hooks in 23 000 years and remains caught in fishing first cave Dzherimalay on the east coast of Timor and reported their findings in an article published in the journal Science. A team led by Sue O’Connor (Sue O’Connor) from the Australian National University in Kaberre believes that ancient people used the network to catch small fish and skumbrievyh baited hooks – fishing for mackerel and bass. It is believed that early humans left Africa and colonized the Sunda Islands and the coast of Australia about 50,000 years ago.
Most likely, these prehistoric migrants were good navigators – the population of the island part of Asia and the “discovery” of Australia would have been impossible without the primitive pie and other types of boats. On the other hand, scientists can not find any evidence to suggest that “migrants” to catch fish during their travels, since the age of the oldest hooks and other gear has never exceeded 12 thousand years. In 2005, O’Connor and her colleagues began excavations in the cave Dzherimalay on the east coast of Timor. The cave is known that it was inhabited by natives of the island first, about 50-60 thousand years ago. Two years later, the authors carried out additional excavations and found in sediments at the bottom of the cave for more than 40 thousand bones of marine fish and turtles, terrestrial animals, as well as many tools, including two fishing hooks from mollusk shells. Archaeologists estimated the age of this gear is 23 and 11 thousand years. The first fragment can be considered one of the evidence that mankind has mastered fishing much earlier than previously thought. Archaeologists also analyzed the species composition of the menu of the ancient fishermen. The researchers were able to determine the anatomical identity 20 000 fragments, which they joined in the form of partial or complete skeletons 2.8 thousand individuals.The authors found that these remains belong to 23 families of marine fish. A significant portion of the fragments (16%) belongs to skumbrievym fish – a family of large marine predators, which include tunas and other large inhabitants of marine waters. Then O’Connor and her colleagues calculated the age of bones and observe how varied diet of the ancient natives. It turned out that the first fishers came to the island about 42 thousand years ago. According to estimates of archaeologists, one half of their menu were sea fishes, and another – coastal species. Skumbrievye predominated in their diet, but the ancient fishermen often went over to catch the rays and small sharks. About 38 thousand years ago, cave Dzherimalay become uninhabitable. This is indicated by the absence of the bones of fish and other traces of human habitation. This is most likely due to the lowering of the sea: fishermen would simply move to other caves that are located closer to the coast.Sea, and behind him and the people returned to the cave 17,000 years ago. A new generation of fishermen added to the diet of fish from the family of precursors stavridovyh. Around 9000 years ago, Aborigines have moved to coastal fisheries – marine fish was only about a quarter of their diet.Scientists believe that the highly developed fishing skills of the ancient people had helped them to colonize neighboring Moluccan archipelago and quickly settle the islands of Oceania.

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