This article has been making the rounds on twitter, including a few re-tweets by yours truly, and it’s pretty much perfect for this site. The combination of archaeology and angling is fairly rare, and when that combination makes it in the popular media it bears emphasis.
To briefly summarize, archaeologists discovered a large quantity of fishbones in an East Timor cave. What made this find particularly interesting is that the bones were from fish typically found in the deep ocean, like tuna, and hard to catch by today’s standards. Scientists are still unsure how these fish were caught, but it is fairly clear that our ancestors 42,000 years ago were using sophisticated fishing technology and watercraft to catch fish.
Also found in the same cave were stone artifacts, bone points and, most significantly, fish hooks. Researchers found a partial fish hook made from shell, which they estimate dates to between 23,000-16,000 years ago. This is an incredible find as ancient fish hooks rarely stand the test of time.
This article demonstrates just how much we still have to learn about the ancient anglers, their techniques and secrets. The cave in East Timor has revealed some of those secrets – lets see what else we can discover!