Skip to comments.Cod bones reveal 13th century origin of global fish trade
Posted on 05/30/2014 4:17:34 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Archaeologists analysed data from nearly 3,000 cod bones found in 95 different excavations in and around London. They identified a sudden change in the origin of the fish during the early 13th century, indicating the onset of a large-scale import trade.
Lead author Dr David Orton, UCL Institute of Archaeology, said: "It's a truly remarkable shift. We had expected a gradual increase in imports as demand grew along with the city's medieval population thought to have quadrupled between AD 1100 and AD 1300 but this is something else: evidence for locally caught cod drops off suddenly when the imports come in...
Cod were traditionally decapitated as part of preservation for long-range transport, meaning the researchers knew that head bones found during excavations must represent fresh fish from relatively local waters.
Vertebrae, by contrast, might be either local or imported.
Comparing frequencies of the two over time, the researchers discovered the sudden switch 'from heads to tails' during the early 13th century. To confirm that the vertebrae were from distant waters, the team used biochemical signatures to match some of the individual bones to their most likely sources, with the results supporting the archaeological data perfectly: from the middle of the 13th century, the majority of sampled bones have signatures suggesting an origin in the far north, probably Arctic Norway...
The research also shows a temporary drop in imports in the late 14th century that might reflect the Black Death's impact on European trade, plus a further surge in imports from around AD1500 - coinciding with the beginnings of trans-Atlantic trade and the arrival of cod from Newfoundland on European markets.
(Excerpt) Read more at phys.org ...
Can I be the first? “Sounds fishy to me”.
Friends don’t let friends eat imported fish.
Book idea... “The Cod Code — the Hidden History of the Discovery of America by the Knights Anglers”...
Not a bad idea. Could take place in Boston. The MA statehouse has had a “Sacred Cod” hanging from the ceiling for centuries.
Did DuPont pay for it to thank the cotton-eating pest for helping the synthetic fiber market?
The locals built it as a tribute to the insect, their “herald of prosperity”.
Interesting book about how the basque discovered America following the cod and saved the world
Crap. Another reason to put Obama on a pedestal?