Skip to comments.Romans had whaling industry, archaeological excavation suggests
Posted on 07/15/2018 2:09:10 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
Ancient bones found around the Strait of Gibraltar... dating to the first few centuries AD or earlier, belong to grey whales and North Atlantic right whales -- coastal migratory species that are no longer found in European waters. Researchers... add that Romans would not have had the technology to hunt whale species found in the region today -- sperm or fin whales which live further out at sea -- meaning evidence of whaling might not have been something archaeologists and historians were looking out for... The right whale was once widespread in the North Atlantic, with breeding grounds off the northern coast of Spain and north west Africa, but was hunted by Medieval Basque whalers among others, and are now only found in the Western North Atlantic. Grey whales disappeared from the North Atlantic some time in the 18th century, and are now only found in the Pacific... The team combined previous anatomical analysis with new analyses based both on DNA extracted from the bones and their collagen -- a protein whose makeup differs between groups of species, and which degrades more slowly than DNA... three were identified as grey whales, and two as North Atlantic right whales with another also suspected of being from this latter species. All were found by carbon-dating as being from either Roman or pre-Roman times -- findings backed up by dating based on information from the archaeological sites... This theory is backed up by writings from the time: Pliny the Elder -- a fervent naturalist who died down the coast from Pompeii during the volcanic disaster -- appears to reference whales calving in the coastal waters off Cadiz in the winter in his Naturalis Historia. And if the whales were present, the team say, it is possible the Romans hunted them.
(Excerpt) Read more at theguardian.com ...
A Roman mosaic with fishing scene, found in Hippolytus House in greater Madrid, Spain. Photograph: Alberto Paredes/Alamy Stock Photo
They fished naked?
Do *not* order the oysters.
No tan lines that way...
And one could always find the first mate
The poop deck was always a mess!
Fishing naked sounds dangerous. A wayward fishhook could get snagged on something.
Basques were the great fisherman. They supposedly discovered the cod banks long before Columbus sailed, kept their find secret.
There’s that, sunburn, getting finned, mosquitos ...
kept their find secret.
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