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Aquatic animal resources in Prehistoric Aegean, Greece.

Mylona D - J Biol Res (Thessalon) (2014)

Bottom Line: In the Neolithic period, the adoption of a sedentary, agro-pastoral way of life led to a reduction in the intensity of fishing and shellfish gathering.Its importance as an economic resource remained high only in certain regions of rich, eutrophic waters.The broadening of collaboration between archaeology and physical sciences offers new means to explore these issues in a more thorough and nuanced manner.

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Affiliation: Institute of Aegean Prehistory for East Crete, 59 E. Daskalaki, 74100 Rethymno, Greece.

ABSTRACT
This paper explores the early stages in the history of fishing in the Aegean Sea in Greece, and highlights its formative phases and its specific characteristics in different points in time. This is testified by various physical remains, such as fish bones, fishing tools, and representations in art, which are gathered in the course of archaeological research. The aquatic resources in the Aegean Sea have been exploited and managed for millennia by communities that lived near the water and often made a living from it. The earliest evidence for a systematic, intensive exploitation of marine resources in the Aegean Sea dates to the Mesolithic, eleven millennia ago. In the Neolithic period, the adoption of a sedentary, agro-pastoral way of life led to a reduction in the intensity of fishing and shellfish gathering. Its importance as an economic resource remained high only in certain regions of rich, eutrophic waters. In the Bronze Age, an era of social complexity and centralized economy, the exploitation of aquatic, mostly marine, resources became a complex, multi-faceted activity which involved subsistence, industry and ideology. The range of preferred fish and invertebrate species, the fishing technology, and the processing of fish and shellfish in order to produce elaborate foods or prestige items are all traceable aspects of the complex relationship between humans and the aquatic resources throughout the prehistory of fishing and shellfish gathering in the Aegean area. The broadening of collaboration between archaeology and physical sciences offers new means to explore these issues in a more thorough and nuanced manner.

No MeSH data available.


Papadiokambos, Siteia. Limpet shells (Patella sp.) (Ch. Papanikolopoulos – Papadiokambos Excavations Archive).
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Fig8: Papadiokambos, Siteia. Limpet shells (Patella sp.) (Ch. Papanikolopoulos – Papadiokambos Excavations Archive).

Mentions: The gathering of edible shellfish and crustaceans follows the same motif (Figure 8). The top shells (Monodonta sp.), the limpets (Patella sp.) and the crabs were apparently consumed systematically, and at places in very large quantities. The ensuing discussion is based on data from the following sites: Palaikastro [63], Papadiokambos [64], unpublished observations, Mochlos [65], Pseira [66–68], and Kommos [69–71]. These animals are found in the mediolittoral zone, and can be gathered with hardly any technological investment and even minimal dexterity. This pattern is also broadly applicable in northern Greece, despite the fact that rich molluscan resources from different habitats, such as river estuaries and coastal lagoons were available and were exploited to some degree [46].Figure 8


Aquatic animal resources in Prehistoric Aegean, Greece.

Mylona D - J Biol Res (Thessalon) (2014)

Papadiokambos, Siteia. Limpet shells (Patella sp.) (Ch. Papanikolopoulos – Papadiokambos Excavations Archive).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License 1 - License 2
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4376368&req=5

Fig8: Papadiokambos, Siteia. Limpet shells (Patella sp.) (Ch. Papanikolopoulos – Papadiokambos Excavations Archive).
Mentions: The gathering of edible shellfish and crustaceans follows the same motif (Figure 8). The top shells (Monodonta sp.), the limpets (Patella sp.) and the crabs were apparently consumed systematically, and at places in very large quantities. The ensuing discussion is based on data from the following sites: Palaikastro [63], Papadiokambos [64], unpublished observations, Mochlos [65], Pseira [66–68], and Kommos [69–71]. These animals are found in the mediolittoral zone, and can be gathered with hardly any technological investment and even minimal dexterity. This pattern is also broadly applicable in northern Greece, despite the fact that rich molluscan resources from different habitats, such as river estuaries and coastal lagoons were available and were exploited to some degree [46].Figure 8

Bottom Line: In the Neolithic period, the adoption of a sedentary, agro-pastoral way of life led to a reduction in the intensity of fishing and shellfish gathering.Its importance as an economic resource remained high only in certain regions of rich, eutrophic waters.The broadening of collaboration between archaeology and physical sciences offers new means to explore these issues in a more thorough and nuanced manner.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Institute of Aegean Prehistory for East Crete, 59 E. Daskalaki, 74100 Rethymno, Greece.

ABSTRACT
This paper explores the early stages in the history of fishing in the Aegean Sea in Greece, and highlights its formative phases and its specific characteristics in different points in time. This is testified by various physical remains, such as fish bones, fishing tools, and representations in art, which are gathered in the course of archaeological research. The aquatic resources in the Aegean Sea have been exploited and managed for millennia by communities that lived near the water and often made a living from it. The earliest evidence for a systematic, intensive exploitation of marine resources in the Aegean Sea dates to the Mesolithic, eleven millennia ago. In the Neolithic period, the adoption of a sedentary, agro-pastoral way of life led to a reduction in the intensity of fishing and shellfish gathering. Its importance as an economic resource remained high only in certain regions of rich, eutrophic waters. In the Bronze Age, an era of social complexity and centralized economy, the exploitation of aquatic, mostly marine, resources became a complex, multi-faceted activity which involved subsistence, industry and ideology. The range of preferred fish and invertebrate species, the fishing technology, and the processing of fish and shellfish in order to produce elaborate foods or prestige items are all traceable aspects of the complex relationship between humans and the aquatic resources throughout the prehistory of fishing and shellfish gathering in the Aegean area. The broadening of collaboration between archaeology and physical sciences offers new means to explore these issues in a more thorough and nuanced manner.

No MeSH data available.