Researchers piece together the violent death of the oldest shark attack victim in archaeology news.
ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered the oldest known shark attack victim, which occurred over 3,000 years ago.
At Kyoto University in Japan, researchers from the University of Oxford were looking for indications of violent trauma on ancient remains. The researchers were able to piece together the final moments of the guy who died after being attacked by a shark in the Japanese archipelago’s Seto Inland Sea using a combination of archaeology science and forensic procedures.
The scientists discovered one unusual specimen after examining a series of bones buried in the community burial ground known as the Tsukumo Shell-mound cemetery site.
The individual, named victim Number 24, was discovered with around 800 serrated injuries all over his body.
The injuries were compatible with a shark bite, according to a study published in the Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports.
“We were originally perplexed by what may have produced at least 790 deep, serrated injuries to this man,” stated Oxford researchers Alyssa White and Professor Rick Schulting.
“Despite his numerous injuries, he was buried in the Tsukumo Shell-mound cemetery site, which is a community burial area.
“The injuries were mostly to the arms and legs, as well as the front of the chest and abdomen.
“We ruled out human conflict and more often reported animal predators or scavengers through a process of elimination.”
Shark attacks are rarely documented in archaeology.
As a result, the researchers turned to George Burgess, the Florida Program for Shark Research’s Director Emeritus.
Mr Burgess was then able to piece together the man’s life story.
The experts came to the conclusion that the person died between 1370 and 1010 BC.
The injuries also indicate that the man was alive at the time, with his hand severed – most likely as a result of a self-defense wound.
His right leg was also missing, and his left leg had been snatched by the shark, but it was retrieved and buried with the individual.
Soon after the incident, Number 24’s body was discovered and buried in the village cemetery.
“Given the injuries, he was certainly the victim of a shark attack,” the experts concluded.
“Given his speedy recovery, the man could have been fishing with others at the time.
“And, based on the character and distribution of the tooth marks, either a tiger or a white shark was the most likely culprit.”
“Brinkwire Summary News,” co-author.