Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Whaling depicted on 3000-year old Ivory Carving

London, April 1: Archaeologists working in the Russian Arctic have unearthed a remarkably detailed 3,000-year-old ivory carving that depicts groups of hunters engaged in whaling, which pushes back direct evidence for whaling by about 1,000 years.

According to a report in Nature News, the ancient picture implies that northern hunters may have been killing whales 3,000 years ago and commemorating their bravery with pictures carved in ivory.

Among the picture which depicts hunters sticking harpoons into whales, the site also yielded heavy stone blades that had been broken as if by some mighty impact, and remains from a number of dead whales.

"All of this adds up to the probability that the site, called Un'en'en, holds the earliest straightforward evidence of the practice of whaling," said Daniel Odess, an archaeologist at the University of Alaska's Museum of the North in Fairbanks, Alaska.