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Title: Fishing in Mesolithic Europe
Author: Pickard, Catriona
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 2002
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Although there is growing evidence for the importance of fishing to Mesolithic peoples, many questions concerning fishing methods and extent of exploitation of aquatic resources remain unresolved. This is the first study for five decades to draw together various strands of contemporary knowledge in order to provide an overview of fishing during the Mesolithic period in Europe. Utilisation of fish as a resource is discussed on the basis of the evidence provided by site location, dietary reconstruction from faunal remains, the nutritional value of fish and the chemical analysis of human and animal bone. The fishing practices of European Mesolithic populations are reconstructed from the evidence provided by artefactual and faunal remains. Temporal and spatial variations in fishing activities are assessed. Methods of fish capture are determined in several ways; by examination of the range of fishing gear attested in the archaeological record, by comparison with modes of operating this gear in traditional and modern fisheries, by an investigation of the biology and behaviour of the fish species recovered and, lastly, through statistical assessment of the co-occurrence of fishing gear and fish fauna in archaeological contexts. This is supplemented by information drawn from ethnographic analogues. It is inferred from these studies that Mesolithic fishermen had a sophisticated understanding of the use and manufacture of employed technologies, fish biology and behaviour and the impact of hydrological conditions on fishing practice.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available