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Pictured: the remains of a Stone Age fish supper from 8,000 years ago

By The Siberian Times reporter
12 July 2017

Mesolithic meal found at site on the Lena River in Yakutia whets the appetite of local archeologists.

Mesolithic fish and chips? Picture: Victor Dyakonov

The remarkable discovery includes the skeletons of three fish of different size, and four floats or bobbers - presumably used with nets for the catch - made from rolled birch bark which is still intact after eight millennia. 

Historian Prokopiy Nagovitsyn said proudly:'I was the first one to touch these food remains of the Mesolithic people who lived here approximately 8,000 years ago. These were the Sumnagin people, fishermen who likely used nets because next to three skeletons there were floats. 

'In the same layer I found a harpoon's spearhead. 

'There is an extraordinary level of preservation of the fish skeletons. 

'And birch bark is a material which does not rot even in thousands of years, as we can see after finding the floats.'

Stone age fish dinner

Stone age fish dinner

Stone age fish dinner
There is an extraordinary level of preservation of the fish skeletons. Pictures: Victor Dyakonov

Victor Dyakonov, who organised the expedition, is a senior archeological senior researcher for the Yakutia Institute of Humanitarian Studies and Problems for Indigenous People. 

'The fish were found in the middle Lena area at Mukhatta site.'

He believed the ancient  Sumnagin people were interrupted  'and didn't finish eating the fish'.

'We found three fish, lying on top of each other. One was quite large judging by the size of spine joints.'

The find was of 'a stash of fish which they caught and then for some reason left. 

'The largest had vertebra some 1 cm in diameter'.

Stone age fish dinner

Stone age fish dinner

Stone age fish dinner

Stone age fish dinner
Radiocarbon analysis links the fish supper to the Sumnaginskaya culture and are believed to be around 8,000 years old. Pictures: Victor Dyakonov

He said the four floats 'were made from rolled up birch bark'.

Nets were made in a similar style 'until very recently'.

Radiocarbon analysis links the fish supper to the Sumnaginskaya culture and are believed to be around 8,000 years old.

The site contains older and more recent remains.

The Sumnagins were the first to move north and populate Siberia's Arctic tundra around 10,000 years ago.

As well as fish, their diet comprised large mammals such as deer, moose, and even brown bear. 

Yakutia - officially called the Sakha Republic - is the largest and coldest region in the Russian Federation. 

Comments (6)

The ignorance of religion continues... one can only hope that believers in religion die off as quickly as the cultures and peoples the various religions have destroyed in their haste to convert peoples to their ignorant beliefs
Juanita Maria , Usa
01/03/2021 18:37
The Universe is >13billion years old and Earth >4 billion years !!!!
Nick, Moscow
16/07/2017 13:37
Interesting news. The universe is said to be 6500 years old and Noah and his family is said to be only people on earth 4000 years ago but siberians ate fish 8000 years ago. Very interesting.

BtW: What species of fish they were eating?
Jorma Myyryläinen, Espoo, Finland
16/07/2017 02:02
Nice. Every tiny piece contributes to the aggregate data that builds both the historic hypotheses and verified facts.

Nice also that local people got involved in the research of their own heritage.
Andres Suarez, Cancun, Mexico
13/07/2017 11:35
Is it known was it served with "Chips"?
Jaker, Dundalk
13/07/2017 06:47
A remarkable site. The photographs of the well-preserved birchbark and salmon are almost identical those those I excavated at a middle Holocene-aged site in the British Columbia interior. Birch bark was used to line storage pits, which included salmon remains. We found extensive birch bark, some of which was the curled-up scraps left from the manufacture of baskets and other items

Please see this report:
George Nicholas, Archaeology Department, Simon Fraser Univ. Burnaby, BC Canada
13/07/2017 05:45

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