New Dimension into the Deep-sea Exploitation: Visual Clues of the Rock Art of White Sea and Alta
University of Cambridge
The antiquity of deep-sea hunting has been acknowledged among scholars who study historical and ethnographic records of such practices in the northern Hemisphere, although its chronological depth is still being discussed. One way to establish when marine hunting and fishing started, I propose here, is to look at the rock art of northern Europe for the visual indicators left for us by the prehistoric carvers. I will focus on the evidence of deep sea hunting (beluga whale) and fishing (halibut) with the use of a harpoon, a float and a lines-and-hook. Examples will be presented illustrating the presence of deep sea exploitation by prehistoric communities, dating to over 7,000 years ago from Besovy Sledki, White Sea, Russia and Alta, Norway.