Jump to Main Content
Early Holocene Pearl Oyster Circular Fishhooks and Ornaments on Espíritu Santo Island, Baja California Sur
- Fujita, Harumi
- Monographs of the Western North American naturalist 2014 v.7 pp. 129-134
- Holocene epoch, Pinctada mazatlanica, carbon, coasts, fish hooks, Gulf of California, Mexico
- Discovery and analysis of 43 pearl oyster (Pinctada mazatlanica) artifacts and associated shell-processing tools from middle and basal levels of Covacha Babisuri, a rock shelter on Espíritu Santo Island, Baja California Sur, provide evidence of Early and Middle Holocene fishhook production along the southern Gulf of California coast. AMS 14C analysis of a fishhook preform recovered from the lowest stratum of the rock shelter returned a date of 8380 ± 50 RCYBP (Beta-236254), or 8750–8500 cal BP, with a reservoir effect of 250 ± 20 years, making this artifact one of the earliest known examples of a shell fishhook in the world. An additional pearl oyster artifact was found in a deeper level dating closer to 10,000 RCYBP, suggesting that this type of fishhook may date to this earlier period.