By JARRETT A. LOBELL
2.9 inches lengthy, 0.eight inches extensive
Measuring as a lot as 6.5 ft lengthy and weighing 550 kilos—a dimension achieved by consuming a plentiful ocean buffet of squid, eels, crustaceans, and smaller fish—the shimmering Atlantic bluefin tuna is among the largest, strongest, and quickest fish within the sea, and considered one of its most prized catches. To land such a fish 5,000 years in the past required fairly an enormous hook.
Whereas at the moment the Norwegian website often known as Jortveit is lush marshland, within the Neolithic interval, the world was a big, deep lagoon into which bluefin tuna, cod, and even killer whales pursued faculties of smaller fish reminiscent of mackerel and herring. There, the native hunter-gatherers used specialised fishing instruments—an equivalent hook and several other harpoons have been discovered on the website in 1931—to hunt the massive fish and whales. “The hooks in all probability would have been connected to a line, maybe comprised of seaweed or bark from a neighborhood tree, which was then connected to a ship and even probably to a tree on land,” says archaeologist Svein Nielsen of the College of Oslo. “It’s thrilling to have the ability to join these giant fishhooks to a selected species.”
Nielsen and his workforce have discovered nice portions of tuna bones in a mud layer 4 ft beneath the marsh’s floor that represents a prehistoric seabed. This offers additional proof of Jortveit’s watery previous. “These bones are doubtless not proof of consumption,” Nielsen explains, however as an alternative of cases during which the large fish escaped from makes an attempt to catch them and swam towards the underside of the lagoon, the place they died.