World’s oldest fishhooks, dating to ca. 21,000 BCE, found on Okinawa

Archeologists have found the oldest known fishhooks in a limestone collapse the Okinawa island’s inside, going back about 23,000 years. The fishhooks, all cut from shells, were found in Sakitari Cave, which was possessed regularly by anglers exploiting the downstream movements of crabs and freshwater snails.

By radiocarbon dating bits of charcoal found in the same layer as the fishhooks, the analysts decided the snares were somewhere around 22,380 and 22,770 years of age.

These single-piece fishhooks, made of Trochus shells, are practically identical or older in age than the comparative fishhooks reported from Timor (∼23,000−16,000 cal BP) and New Ireland (c. 18,000−20,000 14C BP) . The new Sakitari Cave proof shows that fishhook innovation was generally appropriated from Wallacea northward toward the western Pacific edge by LGM times.

Okinawa Island is situated m the Ryukyu Archipelago that extends over the territory of 1,200 km between the main islands of Japan and Taiwan

VIA pnas