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Monday, 19th September 2016
In General Japan News,

Oldest fish hooks in the world discovered in Japan

The oldest fish hooks ever to be discovered on earth have been found on the Okinawa Island in Japan.

Dating back some 23,000 years, the find was come across inside a cave and has already proven to be an important archaeological discovery.

Made from the shells of sea snails, the hooks show that fishing technology developed earlier than was previously thought.

It is thought that humans moved from mainland Japan to Okinawa and the islands surrounding it some 50,000 years ago.

Beyond this, little of their life and methods of coping with the surroundings is known, making the discovery in the Sakitari cave all the more interesting.

Excavations at the site began in 2009 and have involved a number of universities and institutes from across Japan.

Their findings have been published in the PNAS Journal, making fascinating reading for anyone keen to learn more about this element of history.

Prior to the discovery, it was thought that there weren’t enough resources on Okinawa to support life for any length of time.

Among the layers of rock in the cave, charred remains of eels, frogs, fish, birds, crabs and small mammals were found, with the only explanation being that they had been prepared for human consumption.

The crab is the most interesting of these discoveries, as its size suggests it was caught during the autumn when the delicacy is at its best and therefore the ancient people practiced seasonal eating habits.

From the charred remains, researchers have determined that the island has been continuously inhabited since 35,000 years ago.

Other discoveries on the site include human remains, beads fashioned out of seashells and an item that resembles a grindstone.

Related news stories:
Japanese man takes over as world's oldest living person (18th December 2012)
Japan begins search for oldest citizens (4th August 2010)