Tuesday, February 9, 2021

Fishing Is Like Farming

The first sedentary complex societies, which arose before domestication made farming and herding possible, were societies based upon food production through fishing. They had more in common with the farmers that would come to be than with terrestrial hunter-gatherers.

The linked article explores one such indigenous society based upon an ethnographic account of a 16th century kingdom in a fishing society in what is now Florida.


bellbeakerblogger said...

I really like this post. I think you can look to Mesolithic communities like Lepenski Vir or the Portuguese shell-fish farmers and see what amounts to sedentary communities that were quite sophisticated and large. Japan is a great example in that, even in the modern era, has a food economy that is not that much different than 10k years ago save noodles and vending machines everywhere. Chinese ceramics existed probably 10k years before anything resembling what we would call farming.

The entire premise makes total sense, and I think we see this with San and Koi genetics in addition to the points they made. They are not necessarily the best proxies for early human lifestyles since they are heavily mixed on one hand, but on the other, their economy may be more recent adaptation or specific to a certain geography.

andrew said...

Jomon Japan, the Pacific Northwest, and some of the pre-farming Baltic Sea cultures were some of the main examples, in addition to Florida, that I had in mind when I wrote this post.

DDeden said...

Penned fish/eels are like penned herds are like penned people...
all domesticated. But h&g people are too, just less spatially concentrated. When terrestrial hominins split from arboreal apes, they inverted the standard bowl nest into a dome "shield", producing shelter from sun, rain, wind, mosquitos, predators...and produced the first domestic (mammal) genus: Homo.
Australians have been penning eels for maybe 20,000 years.
Wild fish harvesting is hunting, often the same spears, knives, nets are used for both.

andrew said...

While wild fish harvesting is hunting, it is also often something that can usually be done from a sedentary base of operations, so in the ways that matter, even in the absence of penned fish/eels, it still produces farming-like social structures.

DDeden said...

OT: Tasmania Magnetic flip 41ka? Was that local> I thought the last magnetic flip was 790ka.