|Stone Age Man – Fish was a part of their diet|
The invention and use of tools and technologies, in a simplistic way, defines one hypothetical archaeological period of human civilization from another, the Paleolithic Age (old stone age) – Mesolithic (middle stone age) – Neolithic Age (new stone age) – Bronze Age – Iron age- and Modern Age. The main challenges being food, shelter and clothing, most of these tools were developed by humans to help them fend for themselves better, this included the ability to hunt better, be it on land or in water.
|Amber bead & bone fish hook|
Naturally, more produce of plants, meat and fish was required to feed these growing populations. This lead to the development and use of specialized tools for agriculture, hunting and fishing. Where marine harvesting is concerned, bone harpoons are one of the oldest found tools that were used for catching bigger fish, like catfish, which could feed larger groups of people. Fishing nets too evolved as humans discovered better and stronger material to weave the fishnets with.
|Harpoon – Azilian Age|
|Fish on Papyrus – Egyptian|
To The Waters, Ahoy!
|Phoenician ship carved on the face of a sarcophagus. 2nd Century CE|
|Poem on fishing – Halieutika|
The Greek author Oppian of Corycus, in his 3500 lines poem on fishing called Halieutika, wrote about the use of spears, nets, and tridents for fishing. Another Greek, a historian called Polybius, of the Hellenistic Period, is said to have mentioned the hunting of swordfish with a harpoon in his work ‘The Histories.’
Marine archaeologists, who’ve studied a second-century CE. Roman shipwreck, suggest that the Romans had, by this time, begun trading live fish. They estimate that the fish tank on the ship would’ve probably been able to carry 440 pounds of live fish.
On the northern coast of Peru, the Moche people, an Andean civilization (1st to the 8th century CE), who documented the happenings of their times through art, had painted pots with images of people, battles, animals, birds, and fish.
|Moche Fisherman, 300 CE|
The Story Continues…
With each passing era, our pursuit for seafood kept pushing us to continue looking for more efficient ways of harvesting, storing and transporting seafood. This rewarding journey has been instrumental in bringing the joy of seafood to people’s lives, and it continues to do so today.
|A boy holding a platter of fruits and what may be a bucket of crabs, in a kitchen with fish and squid, 3rd century|
See how humanity’s seafood story unfolds with the second instalment of Net-To-Net next week.
Image Credit: Mussels
Image Credit: Stone Age Man
Image Credit: Amber bead and bone fish hook
Image Credit: Harpoon – Azilian Age
Image Credit: Fish on Papyrus – Egyptian
Image Credit: Phoenician ship carved on the face of a sarcophagus. 2nd Century CE
Image Credit: HalieutiKa – Poem by Oppian
Image Credit: Moche fisherman. 300 CE
Image Credit: A boy holding a platter of fruits and what may be a bucket of crabs, in a kitchen with fish and squid
National Geographic, First Rulers of the Mediterranean: Ancient Phoenicians built a maritime civilization around the Mediterranean. Published on Thursday, July 25, 2013, by Ryan Schleeter. Online at .
Discovery News, Archaeology: Roman Ship Carried Live Fish Tank. Published on un 3, 2011 03:00 AM ET, by Rossella Lorenzi.
BBC, Science & Nature, TV & Radio Follow-up, Programmes: Horizon, The Lost Civilisation Of Peru: The rise and fall of the ‘Greeks of the Andes’. Published on Sept 17, 2014.