BERNAL-CASASOLA D., GARDEISEN A., MORGENSTERN P., HORWITZ L., PIQUÈS G., THEODOROPOULOU T., WILKENS B., Ancient Whale exploitation in the Mediterranean: state of knowledge from the Archaeological Record. Antiquity, 2016, p. 914-927.


Keywords : Mediterranean, Upper Palaeolithic, Late Antiquity, whale

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Abstract :

Whales have been exploited for millennia by human societies all over the world. Stranded whales provided meat, oil, bones and other products that were promptly used by those lucky enough to find them. But natural strandings are too occasional to be relied upon, and in many parts of the world communities developed a range of methods to bring whales actively onshore. Given the long occupation of the Mediterranean region, the near absence of evidence for whale use in the
region is puzzling. The following two papers explore the possibility that whale exploitation in the Mediterranean was more important than is generally recognised by historians, archaeologists and ecologists alike.