viernes, 10 de marzo de 2017

Fish, selective hunting strategies and a delayed-return lifestyle among ancient foragers

 
1/2. Photo: Blekinge Museum
 
A unique trove of bone material from the 9,200 year old coastal settlement Norje Sunnansund in Blekinge, Sweden, has revealed that surpisingly sophisticated hunting strategies were used at the time. One key find was that the early Mesolithic humans practiced so-called selective hunting – seemingly in order to maximize gain and preserve the local population of certain species. 

”A telling example is that only fully grown red deer were hunted. Since they reproduce less frequently, there would be a risk of depleting the animals in the area if hunting indiscriminately, and the yield from each kill would be less if they hunted red deer before the animals were fully grown. In contrast, wild boars appear to have been hunted independent of age, which could safely be done as they have a higher reproduction rate, permitting a higher outtake of young,” says Adam Boethius, doctoral student in Osteology at Lund University in Sweden.

Last year, a large amount of fishbones found at the site revealed that there had been a fish fermentation facility at the settlement – the world’s oldest storage of fermented fish. This altered the view of Nordic foraging societies as primarily nomadic, since it indicated a larger community had settled at the location.

Now the animal bone findings have shown that rodents flocked to where the fish was stored. [...] Lund University

Publication: Signals of sedentism: Faunal exploitation as evidence of a delayed-return economy at Norje Sunnansund, an Early Mesolithic site in south-eastern Sweden


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