7,500-yr-old fishing seines and traps found in Russia
|Wooden fishing trap found at the Zamostje 2 site [Credit: Dr. Ignacio Clemente/CSIC]|
“Until now, it was thought that the Mesolithic groups had seasonal as opposed to permanent settlements. According to the results obtained during the excavations, in both Mesolithic and Neolithic periods, the human group that lived in the Dubna river basin, near Moscow, carried out productive activities during the entire year,” said Dr. Ignacio Clemente, a researcher at the CSIC.
The archaeologists explained that during Neolithic and Mesolithic periods the inhabitants of this region, known as Zamostje 2, preferred to hunt during summer and winter, fish during spring and early summer, and harvest wild berries at the end of summer season and autumn.
The Zamostje 2 site, discovered in the 1980s, contains four archaeological levels dating to the Mesolithic and the Neolithic periods.
“We think that the fishing played a vital role in the economy of these societies, because it was a versatile product, easy to preserve, dry and smoke, as well as store for later consumption,” explained Dr. Clemente.
The team also unearthed hooks, harpoons, weights, floats, needles for nets manufacture and repair, as well as moose rib knives to scale and clean the fish.
|Tools found at the Zamostje 2 site [Credit: Dr. Ignacio Clemente/CSIC]|
“It is really unusual to find sites with so much preserved organic remains. The ichthyological remains that we have found give us an idea of the protein percentage provided by fish in the diet of the prehistoric population. Furthermore, these remains will help us to conduct a survey from the point of view of species classification, catch amount and size, and fishing season among others. These details are essential to be able to assess the role played by fishing in the economy of these human groups,” concluded Dr. Clemente.
Author: James Freeman | Source: Sci News [January 25, 2012]