ANU archaeologist finds world’s oldest funereal fish hooks—11 December 2017

Distinguished Professor Sue O'Connor, an Australian Research Council (ARC) Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow from The Australian National University (ANU), has uncovered the world's oldest known fish-hooks placed in a burial ritual, found on Indonesia's Alor Island, northwest of East Timor.

The five fish hooks were among items carefully placed under the chin, and around the jaws of a female from the Pleistocene era, dating back 12,000 years.

Professor O'Connor, from the School of Culture, History and Language in the ANU College of Asia and the Pacific said the discovery turns on its head the theory that most fishing activities on these islands were carried out by men.

Professor O'Connor was awarded an ARC Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellowship in 2012 to investigate modern human dispersal, adaptations and behaviour along the maritime route to Australia. This prestigious named Australian Laureate Fellowship is awarded each round to a highly ranked female candidate in the humanities, arts and social sciences. Kathleen Fitzpatrick Fellows receive additional funding ($20,000 per year over five years) to undertake an ambassadorial role to promote women in research.

Media Issued by The Australian National University.


Image: These fish hooks recovered by archaeologists are the oldest known fish-hooks to be placed in a burial ritual.
Credit: The Australian National University.

Original Published Date: 
Monday, December 11, 2017