sexta-feira, 9 de dezembro de 2011

Pelagic Fishing at 42,000 Years Before the Present and the Maritime Skills of Modern Humans

Sue O’Connor1, Rintaro Ono2, Chris Clarkson3
1. Department of Archaeology and Natural History, College of Asia and the Pacific, Australian National University, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 0200, Australia. 
2. Department of Maritime Civilizations, School of Marine Science and Technology, Tokai University, Shizuoka 424-8610, Japan.
3. School of Social Science, University of Queensland, St Lucia, Queensland 4072, Australia.

By 50,000 years ago, it is clear that modern humans were capable of long-distance sea travel as they colonized Australia. However, evidence for advanced maritime skills, and for fishing in particular, is rare before the terminal Pleistocene/early Holocene. Here we report remains of a variety of pelagic and other fish species dating to 42,000 years before the present from Jerimalai shelter in East Timor, as well as the earliest definite evidence for fishhook manufacture in the world. Capturing pelagic fish such as tuna requires high levels of planning and complex maritime technology. The evidence implies that the inhabitants were fishing in the deep sea.

Fig. 1 Map showing Sunda, Wallacea, Sahul, and the location of sites.

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