Mesolithic fishing traps found in Baltic Sea

Swedish archaeologists believe they have discovered the world's oldest wooden fishing equipment on the Baltic Sea floor of the coast of southern Sweden. 

A diver examines the fish traps [Credit: Zhelezyaka.com]
The find, located of the eastern coast of Skåne County, consists of an arrangement of several finger-width sticks dated to be 9,000 years old. 

"It's the world's oldest find of fishing equipment," Johan Rönnby, a professor of marine archaeology at Södertörn University College, told Sveriges Radio (SR). 

Archaeologists believe the sticks were woven or tied together with rope into fence-like structures and then placed in the river to guide fish into nets or other containers. 

Part of the fencing structure [Credit: Zhelezyaka.com]
The discovery was made in a floodway which used to be part of the Verke River (Verke Å).Today the area is submerged beneath the surface of the Baltic Sea, but 9,000 years ago, the floodway was above sea level. 

In addition to the fishing equipment, archaeologists have also found leftover food and other waste likely thrown in the river by early residents. 

However, no settlements have yet been uncovered, according to Rönnby. 

The discovery was made as part of a larger research project carried out by the MARIS maritime archaeology institute at Södertörn dubbed Landscapes Lost. 


Launched in 2011, the project aims to survey and examine the postglacial river mouth of Verke river's well as the archipelago off of Blekinge in southern Sweden. 

Researchers hope their work will shed light on how people lived and what the now-underwater landscape looked like 9,000 years ago. 

Source: The Local [June 05, 2012]

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