Monday, November 28, 2011

Deep-sea fishing goes back a long way

East Timor find pushes back timeline
Humans, ever since their ancestors waded into streams hunting for food, have relied on the bounty of the world's waters. Fishing in the open sea, though, was only thought to go back about 12,000 years.   Not so.  Bone fishooks and fish bones from a site in East Timor show people were catching tuna, an open-sea species, 42,000 years ago.  The hooks have the basic modern shape, although without barbs.  There is no evidence to say the people involved told stories of the big one that got away... but no doubt they did.
COMMENT: This is one more bit of evidence of how capable ancient people were in marine environments. We know they crossed the sea to Australia some 50,000 years ago, and now we know they ventured away from the coasts to fish.  It adds plausibility to the idea (still not proven, though) that people might have come to the Americas by sea instead of by land bridge. 

No comments: