Monday, 17 August 2009


By Neolithic times it would seem that fishing from boats was becoming sophisticated. The harpoons made of delicately shaped reindeer antler that were found at Kents Cavern inspired Mr. F. Ashford B.Sc. , Edwardian schoolmaster and proud author of Child Man in Britain, to set down this dramatic vision of Early Stone Age fishing:

“ …on a calm day a raft of logs lashed together, or a canoe of tree-trunk with the hollow burned out, would have served for the practice of the art. Two men, one with the harpoon and the other with the wooden paddles, would have conducted the enterprise. Waiting and drifting over the clear water, at last they espy their prey, and with lightning swiftness, emulating the gull, it is speared, and brought flashing, wriggling and twisting into the boat.”

The men of the Early Stone Age were not only fishermen. They also hunted and gathered anything that might be eaten inland. The flint heads of their lost arrows are still to be found in Devon woods and fields. During many millennia humans increasingly took to the land and cultivated the good earth and harvested their own crops and then, during another few thousand years, tamed the wild cattle and brought beasts to pasture and became at last a people of farmers. But here on the Estuary there were always boats and there were always fishermen.

No comments:

Post a Comment