Friday, November 16, 2012

Russia: Gone Fishing

The discovery of 7,500-year-old fish traps in a Russian river valley has given new insight into prehistoric European settlement patterns.

The Mesolithic nomadic hunter-gatherers were believed to move with the seasons to follow food sources. Now excavation at a site in the Dubna river basin outside Moscow shows evidence of continuous year-round occupation.

The three-year investigation by an international team of archaeologists, led by the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), found evidence that the inhabitants of Zamostje 2 adapted their diets according to the time of year but remained in the same place.

Project leader Ignacio Clemente said: ‘We think that fishing played a vital role in the economy of these societies, because it was a versatile product, easy to preserve, dry and smoke, as well as to store for later consumption.’

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