Toggle harpoon head


Final Jōmon period (ca. 1000–300 BCE)

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The Jōmon period is the earliest period in Japanese history, lasting from roughly 14,000 to 300 BCE. The Jōmon people were primarily hunter-gatherers, hunting land animals and gathering vegetables and nuts on the land as well as hunting and fishing at sea. This toggle harpoon head, which works by detaching from the shaft of the harpoon once it is stuck in an animal while remaining attached to the shaft by a rope, facilitated the hunting of larger animals at sea. It allowed the Jōmon people to practice both opportunistic as well as deliberate hunting of large sea mammals including whales, which are known to have been part of the diet of some Jōmon communities along with other sea mammals like seals.

Toggle harpoon head, Bone, Japan

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