Archaeological site found in Dubná river basin, near Moscow. (Photo: CSIC)
Fish traps of over 7500 years old discovered
Thursday, January 26, 2012, 22:50 (GMT + 9)
An international team of archaeologists led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) found near Moscow purse seines and fish traps over 7,500 years old of great technical complexity.
According to scientists, the discovered gears are about the oldest found in European territory.
After three years of research, they found spoons, dishes, tools, weapons for hunting and fishing gear, all manufactured with flint and other rocks, bones and antlers.
Documents related to the capture and processing of fish, such as hooks, harpoons, weights, floats, needles for making and repairing nets were also recovered.
It is hoped that the study of these fishing gear found in Dubná River Basin will help reveal the role of fishing in community populations 10,000 years ago (early Holocene).
"It was thought that Mesolithic groups did not have stable camps, but seasonal ones", said Ignacio Clemente, director of the project.
However, "according to the results obtained during the excavations, in the Mesolithic (between 7,900 and 7,100 years ago) and Neolithic (between 6,800 and 5,500 years ago), the ethnic group that inhabited the Dubná River Basin near Moscow, carried out productive activities throughout the year”, CSIC’s researcher added.
The international team found that the inhabitants of this region hunted mainly in summer and winter, fished in spring and early summer, and gathered wild fruits in the late summer and autumn, EFE agency informed.
Clemente said he thought that fishing "played a key role in the economy of these societies as it was a predictable product, easy to keep, dried or smoked, and stored for later consumption."
One of the more unusual findings in this field is the presence of wood, bones, leaves, excrement and remains of fish fossils.
"It's very rare to find sites where organic materials are preserved. The Ichthyologic items we have found give us an idea of the protein percentage in which fish contributed to the diet of prehistoric people”, he said.
Together with CSIC, the Institute of History of Material Culture, Russian Academy of Sciences; the State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg; Sergiev Posad State History and Art Museum; Autonomous University of Barcelona, and the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) also participated in this project, funded by the Ministry of Science and Innovation, Europa Press agency reported.
By Analia Murias