Study confirms Native people fished for salmon during Ice Age

Researchers work on excavation at the Upward Sun River site in Alaska. Photo by Ben Potter / University of Alaska Fairbanks

Native Americans have been relying on salmon for tens of thousands of years and new research confirms the deep connection.

Researchers at the University of Alaska Fairbanks excavated 11,500-year-old chum salmon bones at a Native settlement in Alaska. The bones represent the earliest evidence of salmon fishing in North America.

“Salmon fishing has deep roots, and we now know that salmon have been consumed by North American humans at least 11,500 years ago,” anthropologist Carrin Halffman said in a press release.

Halffman is the lead author of a study that is being published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Get the Story:
Earliest known evidence of North American salmon fishing found in Alaska (Alaska Dispatch News 9/21)
Research: Ancient Alaskans were fishing for salmon 11,500 years ago (The Fairbanks Daily News-Miner 9/22)
Oldest Find of Salmon Remains in North America (The New York Times 9/22)

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