It is more than a sport: it has meant survival for millions of people. Incredibly, the technique has hardly changed in a long time. Thousands of years, in fact. That’s what one study reveals. We still fish as we did 12,000 years ago.
Humans in the Middle East used complex fishing tools and techniques. Remains found on the northern coast of Israel confirm this.
How to better understand the development of fishing over the millennia? A group of archaeologists decided to investigate. They analyzed a collection of fishing hooks and stones found at the Jordan River Dureijat (JRD) archaeological site. The site is in northern Israel. The items are at least 12 thousand years old.
“Except for the use of metal and plastic, modern fishing hasn’t invented anything new since [la cultura] natufiense. A look at JRD’s fishing artifacts reveals this. All fishing techniques and knowledge already existed some 13,000 years ago”. This is what the authors write, quoted by EurekAlert.
The team analyzed the shapes and residues of 19 hooks made from bone. There are also six fluted pebbles that appear to have been used as sinkers. It is an impressive assemblage. One of the largest collections of early fishing technology.
The study suggests that humans of the period in question used lures and hooks. They used a variety of formats to catch a wide range of fish. In addition, it indicates that they had other knowledge as well. They understood the behavior and ecology of these marine animals very well.
This technology coincides with other broader patterns of human subsistence evolution. They mark the beginning of the transition to agriculture in this region of the world.
“The findings confirm these trends. They highlight the importance of aquatic resources for the emergence of sedentism. It modified the Neolithic ways of life in the Levant,” the research stresses.
The study was published on October 6 in the scientific journal Plos One. Yes, we still fish like we did 12,000 years ago. Think about it the next time you want to go fishing. Thousands of years ago, other men did exactly the same thing.