Scientists charge 3,000-year-old shark with fatal attack on prehistoric man

Scientists charge 3,000-year-old shark with fatal attack    on prehistoric man

It was not until years after the excavation of Tsukumo No. 24 that a cause of death was finally awarded.

Laboratory of Physical anthropology, Kyoto University

Scientists have solved the mystery of creepy of a prehistoric man death. After methodically studying his multiple violent injuries, they say the fault lies with a shark and have reconstructed the attack in stunning detail.

“Most likely he lost his right leg as well left but no in the attack, and his injuries would be fatal since they have at least 790 marks of teeth that have reached the bone, “say the researchers led by Oxford in one studio posted Wednesday in the newspaper of Archaeological sciences: reports. “Although numerous blood vessels and organs would have been affected, it is likely that at least his larger arteries in his lower limbs would have been severed early. in the attack. This would have turned out in a relatively fast death from hypovolemic shock. ”

The research team calls the unfortunate the world’s oldest shark attack victim on record. The assault precedes the 5 century Greek writings and 8th century Illustrations BC of shark attacks, as well as known archaeological cases.

Radiocarbon dating places man between 1370 and 1010 BC during the fisherman-hunter-gatherer period it was Jōmon in Prehistoric Japan, an era in where shark hunting probably took place. It is estimated that he remained in feet just over 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall.

J. Alyssa White e professor Rick Schulting of Oxford first met the shark victim as part of a bigger one project investigate violent trauma in the skeletal remains of hunter-gatherers of the Japanese archipelago. At Kyoto University, the couple stumbled upon in a skeleton nicknamed No. 24. It had been excavated around 1920 from the Tsukumo cemetery site in Okayama, Japan, near the Seto Inland Sea.

TO first, the researchers were baffled by the man’s excessive injuries. Deep serrated cuts of various sizes and shapes covered his bones, one hand had been severed off, and a leg was missing. it was not clear to them how, or why, another human would have caused such extreme injuries, or how commonly reported local animal attacks may have produced them.

Through a process of elimination, the researchers began to suspect a shark. They explored modern forensic data on shark attacks for clues and consulted with George Burgess, director emeritus of the Florida program for Shark research, who agreed with their assessment that a shark caused the wounds of man.

The scientists also recreated the model of Tsukumo’s injuries 24 by mapping them on a 3D model of the human skeleton. The location of the wounds suggest the victim was alive in that moment of the attack and that he may have lost his hand while trying to defend himself. Such vivid details paint an immediate and very human image of one man struggle.

“We are still vulnerable in in the same way as Tsukumo Individual No. 24 was in water and continue to pay homage to our loved ones by burying them properly, “White says. “This is what stands out more to me than all archeology – we are all a part of one human story, with all of the pains and joys that accompany it “.


A distribution map of Tsukumo’s traumatic injuries No. 24. The red features represent bite mark wounds, orange represents overlapping streaks, and purple indicates fracture lines.

magazine of Archaeological sciences: reports

It is unclear whether Tsukumo 24 was deliberately targeting sharks or the shark that ended his life was attracted with blood or bait, says co-author of the studio Mark Hudson, a researcher with the Max Planck Institute in Germany. “OR way”said Hudson,” this find doesn’t just provide a new perspective on ancient Japan, but it is also a rare example of archeologists in able to reconstruct a dramatic episode in the life of a prehistoric one community. “

That the researchers were in able to trace the attack in it owes such an immediate detail to man body to be found in such excellent condition last century. Immediately after the ancient attack, most of Tsukumo 24’s body was recovered and buried in a mound of shells according to the characteristic funerary practices of the Jomon culture.

Because the man was recovered so quickly, the researchers speculate that he may have been attacked while fishing with comrades. Based on tooth marks, believe that the shark was a tiger or a white shark. Remains of both species were found in the area.

“The shark attack presented here is just one small part of the largest, lived experience of the Jōmon people, “Bianca says. “Today human shark attack dead in media around 10 per year, but humans value a kill about 100 million sharks a year. ”

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