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Mesolithic Fishing and Seafaring in the Aegean

Thanos Aronis Webb
Thesis: August 1999
Chair: Bass
Nautrical Archaeology Program

Melian obsidian and fish bones unearthed at Franchthi cave confirm the existence of seafaring in the Aegean Sea since the Late Paleolithic. By the Mesolithic, an increase in the quantity of obsidian occurs contemporaneously with the appearance of bones from bluefin tuna weighing up to 200 kg. Even though direct archaeological evidence which reflects the type of boats and fishing practices used to acquire these fish does not exist, evidence in the form of migration theory and fish preservation suggests that the Aegean sailors had a sophisticated technology capable of building planked hulls and preserving tuna.
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