** Fishing by Brian Fagan

Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization ambitiously considers fishing as a source of food from pre-historic times to today.  Starting with Neanderthal bands on the banks of the Rhone river, the author reports on the weights and shapes of fish bones (since the rest of the bodies are long gone), and I wonder about how many grad students painstakingly separated tiny bones from the rest of the excavations! We should be very thankful for those bones, and the grass students counting them, since the fish have no antlers or other distinctive features that would indicate their bring consumed otherwise. As we step into the centuries it becomes very obvious that fish has been a very important source of food, and especially protein, through winters, ice ages, and droughts. Interestingly, technology in the form of spears, harpoons, nets of all kinds, boats of course, and basins for raising fish is a surprisingly large part of the story.

 

 

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