Amateur archaeologist discovers 7,000-year-old fishing trap in Norway

(ORDO NEWS) — An amateur archaeologist discovered an unusual structure made of wooden poles that were at the bottom of a lake in the Norwegian national park Jotunheimen. It turned out that this was an ancient trap that allowed fish to be caught.

Fish has served as a source of food for humans since the early Paleolithic. The oldest evidence of this, nearly two million years old, comes from archaeological finds at the Koobi Fora site in Northern Kenya.

Scientists have found here the earliest evidence of early Homo eating a variety of aquatic animals, including turtles, crocodiles and fish.

But until the Mesolithic era, there are quite a few finds of ancient fishing gear, which may have been made from organic materials and have not been preserved. However, there are exceptions.

For example, the oldest fish hooks today were discovered in Japan. Their age is about 23 thousand years. In addition, hooks made 23-16 thousand years ago are known in East Timor, and about 15-12 thousand years ago in Israel.

Amateur archaeologist discovers 7 000 year old fishing trap in Norway 2
Ingvild Tinglum Bøckman

In June of this year, amateur archaeologist Reidar Marstein took a walk in Norway’s Jotunheimen National Park. Approximately at an altitude of 850 meters above sea level, he noticed an unusual structure located at the bottom of the Tesse mountain lake, which is located in the commune of Lom.

Due to the drop in the water level, short wooden poles became visible at the bottom of the lake. Marstein noticed that they were placed in a certain pattern.

As noted in the Norwegian Museum of Cultural History, the discovered structure is a fish trap created in the Stone Age.

According to preliminary estimates of researchers, the age of the poles is about seven thousand years, that is, the trap was created around 5000 BC. This is an extremely rare evidence of the ancient practice of fishing in the highlands.

It is reported that the discovered structure is one of the oldest such finds made in Northern Europe. Probably, such traps were arranged at the bottom of the lake, after which the fish caught in them were taken out of the boat or entered the water for this.

Well-preserved wood will allow archaeologists to establish the exact age of the finds. In addition, the researchers hope to find out how long these traps have been used and how often they have been repaired.

Previous finds in the area of ​​this lake, about seven thousand years old, were mainly associated with reindeer hunters.

 

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