Saturday 31 August 2019

Neolithic omul fishermen

Neolithic (4th - 3rd millennium BC) fishing (obviously 🙂) culture artefacts from lake Baikal, Russia.

Several details are very interesting.

The life like representations of fish are amazing. A great article was published about them by A.G. Novikov and O.I. Goriunova entitled: "Portable Sculptures from Neolithic and Bronze Age Habitation Sites near Lake Baikal

Interestingly the archaeological evidence from the same period seems to suggest that "omul" was not the main type of fish caught by the Neolithic Baikal fishermen. Apparently they have very small mouths and can be caught only by using small hooks or nets and traps. The fact that they were found among the fish remains, suggests that Neolithic fishermen in the Baikal region likely used nets and traps, as small hooks were not found. You can read more in "Fishing ancient Lake Baikal, Siberia: inferences from the reconstruction of harvested perch (Perca fluviatilis) size" by Robert J. Losey*, Tatiana Nomokonova, Olga I. Goriunova

I believe that these are Omuls, Baikal salmon, which is the main type fished in the area.

Just like in Europe and India, it was migratory fishes that became the staple food of the neolithic settled hunter gatherers and later substance farmers.

In Europe it was Salmon that allowed people to settle along salmon migrating rivers, like Rhine river.

I wrote about this in my post "Fishes".

And in India it was palla which allowed people to settle along palla migrating rivers, like Indus River.

I wrote about this in my post "Palla".

Also interesting is the pot which looks like it was made by plastering inside a soft basket (sack). It even has holes around the rim, where rope would have been put through to tighten the sack.

This seems to corroborate the theory that pots developed from plastered baskets. I wrote about this in my post "Basket pottery".

You can read more about this type of pottery in "Cultural Dynamics of Southern Part Middle Siberia in the Neolithic Based on the Pottery Study" by Ivan Berdnikov, Natalia Sokolova, Бердников Иван 

This is a good article about these fishermen cultures in the Baikal region: "The Neolithic and Early Bronze Age of the Lake Baikal Region: A Review of Recent Research" by Andrzej Weber

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