A man hunting for American Indian artifacts with his sons along a gravel bar on the Missouri River has uncovered an ancient fishhook that is making collectors envious. The hook is made of bone and covers his entire palm, making it much larger than most bone hooks.
The size of the hook suggests the fisherman who used it was after a larger fish. The large size of the hook also might indicate an earlier origin. American Indians used bigger rocks and tools in earlier periods to hunt larger game such as wooly mammoths. The hook could have been used to fish for pallid sturgeon or enormous catfish.
Because bone matter deteriorates rapidly, bone artifacts typically have to be buried deep enough in the ground to be preserved. And they are usually found during archaeological digs. Sandier soil in spots along the river might have kept the hook preserved. The hook could be anywhere from 300 to 12,000 years old.
January 3, 2007 7:14 AM | Category: Fish